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http://www.guardian.co.uk/space/article ... 85,00.html

First time I read this.

"It's called Apophis. It's 390m wide. And it could hit Earth in 31 years time."

In Egyptian myth, Apophis was the ancient spirit of evil and destruction, a demon that was determined to plunge the world into eternal darkness.

A fitting name, astronomers reasoned, for a menace now hurtling towards Earth from outerspace. Scientists are monitoring the progress of a 390-metre wide asteroid discovered last year that is potentially on a collision course with the planet, and are imploring governments to decide on a strategy for dealing with it.


It's called Apophis. It's 390m wide. And it could hit Earth in 31 years time

· Scientists call for plans to change asteroid's path
· Developing technology could take decades

Alok Jha
Wednesday December 7, 2005
The Guardian

In Egyptian myth, Apophis was the ancient spirit of evil and destruction, a demon that was determined to plunge the world into eternal darkness.

A fitting name, astronomers reasoned, for a menace now hurtling towards Earth from outerspace. Scientists are monitoring the progress of a 390-metre wide asteroid discovered last year that is potentially on a collision course with the planet, and are imploring governments to decide on a strategy for dealing with it.

Nasa has estimated that an impact from Apophis, which has an outside chance of hitting the Earth in 2036, would release more than 100,000 times the energy released in the nuclear blast over Hiroshima. Thousands of square kilometres would be directly affected by the blast but the whole of the Earth would see the effects of the dust released into the atmosphere.

And, scientists insist, there is actually very little time left to decide. At a recent meeting of experts in near-Earth objects (NEOs) in London, scientists said it could take decades to design, test and build the required technology to deflect the asteroid. Monica Grady, an expert in meteorites at the Open University, said: "It's a question of when, not if, a near Earth object collides with Earth. Many of the smaller objects break up when they reach the Earth's atmosphere and have no impact. However, a NEO larger than 1km [wide] will collide with Earth every few hundred thousand years and a NEO larger than 6km, which could cause mass extinction, will collide with Earth every hundred million years. We are overdue for a big one."

Apophis had been intermittently tracked since its discovery in June last year but, in December, it started causing serious concern. Projecting the orbit of the asteroid into the future, astronomers had calculated that the odds of it hitting the Earth in 2029 were alarming. As more observations came in, the odds got higher.

Having more than 20 years warning of potential impact might seem plenty of time. But, at last week's meeting, Andrea Carusi, president of the Spaceguard Foundation, said that the time for governments to make decisions on what to do was now, to give scientists time to prepare mitigation missions. At the peak of concern, Apophis asteroid was placed at four out of 10 on the Torino scale - a measure of the threat posed by an NEO where 10 is a certain collision which could cause a global catastrophe. This was the highest of any asteroid in recorded history and it had a 1 in 37 chance of hitting the Earth. The threat of a collision in 2029 was eventually ruled out at the end of last year.

In September, scientists at Strathclyde and Glasgow universities began computer simulations to work out the feasibility of changing the directions of asteroids on a collision course for Earth. In spring next year, there will be another opportunity for radar observations of Apophis that will help astronomers work out possible future orbits of the asteroid more accurately.

If, at that stage, they cannot rule out an impact with Earth in 2036, the next chance to make better observations will not be until 2013. Nasa has argued that a final decision on what to do about Apophis will have to be made at that stage.

"It may be a decision in 2013 whether or not to go ahead with a full-blown mitigation mission, but we need to start planning it before 2013," said Prof Fitzsimmons. In 2029, astronomers will know for sure if Apophis will pose a threat in 2036. If the worst-case scenarios turn out to be true and the Earth is not prepared, it will be too late. "If we wait until 2029, it would seem unlikely that you'd be able to do anything about 2036," said Mr Yates.

Has anyone else heard of this???

http://cfa-www.harvard.edu/~marsden/SGF/

Here's a link to Spaceguard Foundation...some kind of research team that watches out for asteroids? The link has Harvard in the title...so it must legit. Not some space-freakie cult.

Do think its a hoax? This is scary! 8O :cry:
 

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I haven't heard about it. I am a not surprised either, there is so much floating out in space, and other planets are getting hit by asteroids, debris etc. all the time. I am not suprised not too many have heard about it either. The last thing the government wants is a freakout. I think if they know about this far ahead they have ample time to do something about it so I wouldn't be too concerned. Pretty facinating though.
 

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freakout means money, i doubt the governement gives a rats-bleep about us, its all about the money. if they keep us scared, they can make money.

i actually remember hearing something a long long time ago about some astroid that was really huge, im not sure if this is that same one, but if it is, i dont really care too much. i hope i live long enough to see that day, im absolutely curious as to what those final years would be like. i know that sounds weird, but im absolutely fascinated with life and how everything works, and to see that, even if it be the last thing i ever see, would be the coolest thing in the world.(no pun intended!)

i see no reason to fear this, why worry over what one cant control? if we spend our time freaking out about years later, how is one supposed to get anything done now? i have a special announcement people! in case you didnt know, one day you will die! its just a fact, whether it be by a giant rock hurtling towards earth or of natural causes, thats just going to happen. so dont be too surprised if you wake up on the second floor.

anyhow, enough rambling...i am not worried, but i know so many people are gonna flip, and i guess that is to be expected.[/b]
 

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So basically, there's a 1 in 5,500 chance that this might hit the Earth in 30 or so years :roll: For the time being, I'm not too worried :wink:

As an aside, being a complete and total Stargate geek, I loved how they named the asteroid Apophis :lol:

*you may now return to your regularly scheduled thread*
 
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