I recently wrote about the impending doom the world faces from those pesky Russians stealing the North Pole and wiping us all out. Well it seems they are repentant for this foul deed or at least for getting caught and plan to redeem them selves by saving us when Apophis the grim reaper from space arrives to wipe us all out.
Apophis is an 880 Megaton asteroid scheduled to have near misses with the Earth in 2029 and 2036. There was a 2.7% chance of a collision when it last flew past in 2004 but fortunately we ware spared, without needing Will Smith but the next encounter is worrying the Russians enough that according to the BBC they have begun plans to intercept and divert the monster space rock. Back at NASA there is far more complacency, even arrogant dismissal of the problem and according to Calamity News NASA have demanded comic books to entice them to begin researching solutions. A scientist was quoted as saying:
“There are literally billions of asteroids floating around the sun. How are we supposed to know which ones will fall out of orbit and smash into the Earth? Like we’re supposed to launch 6 satellites in a geosynchronous orbit around the Earth providing a detection net that would give us enough time to smash things into it? Yeah right!”
On the other hand Anatoly Perminov head of Russia’s federal space agency has said it will work to divert an asteroid which will make several passes near the Earth from 2029:
“People’s lives are at stake,” Mr Perminov reportedly told the radio service Golos Rossii (Voice of Russia). “We should pay several hundred million dollars and build a system that would allow us to prevent a collision, rather than sit and wait for it to happen and kill hundreds of thousands of people.” He says that a “scientist recently told him” that Apophis may hit Earth in 2032. If that happens, there’s a big chance of it hitting Russia, as most of the south of the country is right on the path of impact risk. The mission, according to Perminov, would not use nuclear weapons, just the laws of physics.
Oh wait, I thought they were trying to save the whole world, it seems they just wanted to save Russia. Perhaps the laws of physics applied will divert the asteroid jut enough to ensure it hits America not Russia? Dammit, so we are all still doomed after all!
The asteroid is predicted to come so close to the earth on April 13, 2029 it will become as bright as magnitude 3.3 making it visible to the naked eye from rural as well as darker suburban areas. This close approach will be visible from Europe, Africa, and western Asia. Assuming of course it doesn’t actually hit us. It will be so close that its orbit will be substantially altered by the earth’s gravity making further collision predictions much harder. Perhaps we need to call Clint Eastwood to assemble a team of crack geriatrics to save us all…?