Let’s hope it does not involve Bruce Willis, because that damn movie made no sense.
Courtesy of CBS News:
It’s not often the Earth is at risk of being hit by a giant speeding asteroid from outer space. But on the off chance one is heading our way, MIT scientists want us to be prepared.
A team of researchers there recently developed a system to figure out the best method for avoiding a collision with what they call “planet-killer” asteroids — the largest objects that have the potential to strike Earth. By observing an asteroid’s mass and momentum, proximity to a “gravitational keyhole,” and the amount of warning time, they believe they can identify the most successful mission to avoid catastrophe.
The next planet-killer asteroid to fly through our cosmic neighborhood is expected to pass near Earth on April 13, 2029. The giant icy space rock — known as 99942 Apophis, for the Egyptian God of Chaos — will speed by at over 67,000 miles per hour. Astronomers say it will be one of the largest asteroids to cross that close to Earth’s orbit in the next decade.
Early observations suggested Apophis could potentially enter Earth’s gravitational keyhole — in other words, come close enough that our planet’s gravity would alter its trajectory. That might have put it on track to impact Earth its next time around in 2036. While scientists later determined it should pass by safely both times, they are eager to come up with viable strategies for deflecting any future asteroids that threaten to come too close for comfort.
I think I would feel a little safer if they had more than simply a system for some day determining the best method for avoiding a collision, but hey, at least they are working on it.
Sometimes I think we forget just how vulnerable we are out here spinning around in the vastness of space on our little green satelite, but it would not take a terribly significant event to lead to the planet’s complete and utter destruction.
Anyhow you go on right ahead and have yourself a glorious Monday, I am sure the planet will still be here when you get off work.
At least I hope.