Asteroid Apophis To Strike Earth?

Asteroid Apophis To Strike Earth?
A 270 million ton asteroid called Apophis could make quite a dent in the Earth when if comes for a visit on April 13, 2036. Though it is not quite the apocalyptic event that some are portraying, it potentially could be a tad ugly, with the potential to kill millions and cause chaos across the world. Read more…
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Don Yeomans with the truth about close-passing asteroid Apophis
Asteroid Apophis is back in the news. But it’s still not likely to hit Earth in 2036, says Don Yeomans of NASA’s Near Earth Object Program.
Read more on EarthSky

Do Christians Need to Prepare for the Asteroid Apophis in 2029?

Do Christians Need to Prepare for the Asteroid Apophis in 2029?

Currently some scientists are very aware of the asteroid Apophis (sometimes spelled as Apofiz) 99942 will be possibly getting very close to earth in the year 2029. Projections show there should not be a collision with earth but it could come within 20,000 miles of its surface. At that distance it would be passing into what is known as the Clarks Belt and could possibly damage existing satellites used for communication, military, and entertainment purposes.

Luckily the odds are calculated at 1 in 45,000 chances there will be a collision in the year 2029. Though this is comforting news the future possibly holds something much more severe. Some people in the community of asteroid studies including some well known researchers feel that earths’ gravitational influence in this close encounter to Apophis will possibly cause it actually to collide with earth 7 years later in the year 2036.

People are already wondering if this could be the asteroid or planet mentioned in the book of Revelation called Wormwood. According to the description of Wormwood (referred to by some as Planet-X) in the Bible it does not appear to be an asteroid such as Apophis. It points more towards it being the composition of a star like a large ball of fire.

Looking at the evidence currently available it does not appear that Apophis (sometimes spelled Apofiz) asteroid fits into the timeline according to the Bible. Earth’s encounter with Wormwood is supposed to take place in the middle of the 70th week on a Sabbath year cycle. Considering that a Sabbath year cycle has seven years in it one can do the math based upon the first recorded Sabbath year and see that the year 2029 does not fit into the equation.

From what the Bible says, Wormwood will cause havoc long before 2029. It appears that the Great Tribulation, the Rapture, and the Second Advent and Millennium will all take place before this time. This opinion is open to debate by many Christians and other religious groups throughout the world.

Currently the world is being exposed to a possible doomsday in the foreseeable future more than ever. The increase in scientific study of space has brought a public awareness about that something could go wrong in the future. The earth could be struck by an asteroid similar to Apophis as mentioned recently on CNN causing mass devastation and even knocking the earth into a different orbital path around the sun. This type of disaster would cause problems that are impossible to forecast.

The media shows the public that we should be aware that something like this can take place. Amateurs and professionals alike compare notes with the use of the Internet allowing for large networks of people to build a more solid look into what the future may hold for mankind.

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Solar Sail Spacecraft could change course of Apophis

The news that Solar Sail Spacecraft could be used to change the course of Apophis was reported last week:

A flotilla of solar sail spacecraft could change the course of the asteroid Apophis which is headed a little too close to Earth for comfort by shading the space rock from solar radiation, according to a French researcher.

Such a plan could help shift Apophis into a slightly safer orbit by the time it is expected to swing by Earth on April 13, 2036. But experts have warned previously that any efforts to divert the space rock could actually make matters worse.

The preliminary concept idea was proposed at a symposium on solar sails which are spacecraft powered by sunlight pushing against a sail a few months ago at the New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn.

“Apophis is a nice target for launching this kind of mission for 20 years from now; not too far, not too close,” said Jean-Yves Prado, an engineer at the National Center for Space Study (CNES) in France.

How to move a space rock
A group of formation-flying solar sails could alter the asteroid’s course by eliminating the so-called Yarkovsky effect, a phenomenon described by Russian engineer I.O. Yarkovsky a century ago.

That effect occurs when the sun warms an asteroid more on the sun-facing side than the far side. The rock then emits more thermal radiation on its near side, which creates a bit of thrust and changes its momentum slightly.

“It’s really a very small effect and doesn’t apply to very small asteroids because the temperature would be quite negligible, so thrust is negligible,” Prado explained. “It also does not apply to very large asteroids because they are too heavy.”

But for Apophis, which falls just in the middle of that mass range, the effect could make a difference.

The proposed mission would deploy four 441-pound solar sails from a transfer module that used solar electric propulsion to reach Apophis. Previous spacecraft that have used solar electric propulsion include NASA’s Deep Space 1 and Dawn probes.

Once deployed, the solar sails would hover a few kilometers above the space rock and fly in formation according to master control by the transfer module, without a direct link between Earth and the individual sails.

The module could also position itself as a small gravity tractor to provide a small gravitational push on Apophis, Prado suggested.

Practical concerns arise
A previous NASA assessment of possible asteroid deflection methods had placed solar sails relatively high in terms of readily available and not-too-complex technology.

Launch windows would become available for such a mission to launch aboard a Russian Soyuz-Fregat rocket in 2016 and 2019, Prado said. He added that a second redundant mission could also launch to ensure success.

Several other solar sail researchers at the symposium raised questions about the mission design. One questioned the need for a chemical propulsion system on each solar sail that would balance out the solar pressure and keep the sails flying in their proper place.

Prado replied that his group had examined the possibility of using solar electric propulsion to also maintain low thrust and keep the solar sails in place, but had ruled it out based on cost.

Another researcher suggested that simply crashing four spacecraft with the mass of the solar sails into Apophis might be simpler.

The long view
An earlier, unrelated Russian proposal to nudge the space rock aside has been met with skepticism, in part because any solution might worsen Earth’s chances, given the uncertainty regarding Apophis’ exact trajectory.

NASA scientists previously pegged the possibility of an Apophis collision with Earth at a low 1-in-250,000 chance in 2036, when Apophis is expected to approach within 18,300 miles of the planet in 2036.

The asteroid’s second near pass by Earth comes in 2068, when it has a three-in-a-million chance (or about 1-in-333,000) of impacting on the planet.

Whether or not solar sails prove instrumental in protecting Earth from asteroids, proponents of the technology are excited about the progress they’ve made.

In July 2010, Japan’s Ikaros spacecraft became the first vehicle to have deployed a solar sail and successfully rode the sunlight in deep space. Another effort by Britain called CubeSail, slated to launch next year, will use a solar sail as an atmospheric brake and will possibly be used to take down pieces of space junk.

So maybe there is hope for us all yet!

A brief history of End of the World Predictions

Should you be worried about the “end of the world” which is supposed to happen at the end of the Mayan Calendar in December 2012? If you were born before 2000 you have already survived an “end of the world” scenario.

The human race has survived quite a few of these events and the world is still turning. The prophecies of the world ending are as old as time itself. It is understandable that people believed these prophecies in ancient times when their understanding of how the world works was negligable. But have we moved on from those ancient beliefs? Even though we know so much more about science now it seems that a lot people still believe in these ancient prophets. One of the early belief was that the world would end in 1000 AD and legend has it the Pope Sylvester ll feared the coming of the new millennium would bring the end of the world. But as we know now – that didn´t happen.

Nor did it happen in 1881 which was a date predicted by Mother Shipton. Following that, 1991 was supposed to see the end of the world, which we survived again. Then 2000 caused a lot of hysteria with people believing that all computers would stop working, planes would fall from the sky and civilisation as we know it would cease to exist.

So it doesn´t bode well for the December 22, 2012 prediction. If we survived all those other “end of the world” scanarios aren´t we surly going to survive the end of the Mayan Calendar? And on December 23, 2012 we will all be looking forward to April 13th 2036 when the Apophis Asteroid, on it´s second pass by earth, will supposedly come crashing into our planet, causing the End of The World.

Armageddon – Maybe…….

The asteroid Apophis, were it to hit the Earth in 2036, would explode with the force of more than half the weapons in the United States nuclear arsenal. That would be bad. True to form, though, the old Cold War enemies are in disagreement about the dangers.

Here at the Daily Maverick we seem to have developed a fascination with the End of the World. Perhaps we doth protest too much, but we’d just like to point out that it’s not because we’re naturally apocalyptic. Our apparent propensity to run doomsday stories, if you’ll indulge us, is simply because our editor knows a good news lead when he sees one. His instincts have been proven correct by the retweets and comments we get on such articles, by the fact that the writer of this piece was personally warned to start repenting by a sect that’s pegged judgment day as May 21st, 2011, and by the fact that you’re still with us at the tail-end of this 130-word opening paragraph.

From all the doomsday predictions we’ve covered thus far, though – including the abovementioned 2011/05/21 sect, the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, which argues for 2012/12/21, and the History Channel, which argues for just about any date that hasn’t yet passed into history (which makes you wonder about the channel’s name) – the one that seems the most statistically probable to us is 2036/04/13.

That’s when the asteroid Apophis, a 300-metre-diameter chunk of rock, terribly inconveniently named after the Egyptian god of “uncreation”, has a one-in-four-million chance of hitting Earth.

Wait! Don’t click out yet! The reason we’re running this story is that Apophis initially had a 2.7 percent chance of hitting Earth, on April 13th 2029. Using updated information, though, NASA scientists recently recalculated the path of the large asteroid, and decided that the refined data indicated a much-reduced likelihood of a hazardous encounter with our planet on the same date in 2036.

Numerologists, cult members and History Channel staffers will have noticed by now that the gap between these two dates is seven years, a very significant number (days of the week, oceans on Earth, continents on Earth, days it took God to create the world including Her rest-day, etc). We encourage you to reach your own conclusions on that score, really we do. As logical-positivist newsmen, what’s important to us is that on April 13th 2029 we’re still going to see a record-setting close encounter with a lethal asteroid – Apophis, say the updated NASA stats, is then going to approach within 18,300 miles of our planet – and that on April 13th 2036 many of us might perish in a cataclysmic collision – the chances, remote as they may be, are nevertheless slightly greater than you being struck by lightning, and much greater than a monkey at a keyboard typing out the complete works of Nostradamus. Or was it Shakespeare?

The Russians, who by default don’t believe in NASA’s stats, aren’t about to take any undue risks. * The Russian Federal Space Agency is considering the funding of a project to deflect the 880-megaton asteroid, and aside from one small problem, there’s every reason to take them seriously. Anatoly Perminov, the agency’s head, held a news conference in late December 2009 in which he stated that the asteroid “will surely collide with the Earth in the 2030s,” and that he’d heard this information from a scientist.

“We should pay several hundred million dollars and build a system that would … prevent a collision, rather than sit and wait for it to happen and kill hundreds of thousands of people.”

The one small problem? Perminov refused to name his lone scientist. Ah, well.


Russian Scientists to deflect Apophis

Russian scientists have said that they intend to interfere with the trajectory of Apophis asteroid which could hit Earth in 2036.

Anatoly Perminov, head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos said that “it will hold a meeting to discuss the issue.”

And he suggested that “The calculations show that a spacecraft could deflect the object of his course. This is not to destroy Apophis, but out of its path. ”

Perminov said that “Any plan for such work would be done by an international collaboration between Russia, the European Union, United States, China and Japan.”

But he added that “there is no room for panic, a crash would put at stake the lives of many people and it is better to pay several hundred million dollars and create a system to avoid a collision, than to wait passively “.

The asteroid Apophis has a diameter of 270 feet, is three times larger than the Tunguska meteorite, which in 1908 destroyed 2 000 hectares in Siberia.

The asteroid that is directed toward the Sun, will pass close by Earth at a distance of 30 thousand kilometers, and when it returns in 2036 could possibly hit our planet.

In the U.S. NASA said that “its scientists had significantly reduced the chance that Apophis would impact with the earth’s surface” and that “the odds of an impact in 2036 are 1 in 45 thousand.”

Goodbye World??

Apophis AsteroidIs the end really nigh?  The asteroid know as Apophis is expected to pass very close to earth on 13th April 2029, and depending on how close that pass is it could hit us on it´s next pass on 13th April 2036.

Provisionally known as 2004 MN4, it was thought that it would hit Earth on it´s first pass, but further calculations show that it´s path will take it past us, but it will be a near-miss.

Also alarming was the news that if Apophis flies through a certain band of space, 610 meters wide, it will throw the orbit out by enough of a margin that it could hit us in 2036!  But this is a very slim chance and I´m sure that by then they will have found a way to send Bruce Willis into Space……