Asteroid Apophis – Will It Destroy the Earth?
Assuming that we humans survive the solar flares, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, extreme weather, Planet Nibiru and other assorted apocalyptic disasters forecast by the doomsday crowd for December 21, 2012, the next date that they will likely focus on occurs in April, 2029.
The Asteroid Apophis, Unlike the Planet Nibiru, Exists and is Heading Towards Earth
While the arrival of planet Nibiru on a near collision course with Earth is an imaginary threat that can be 100% discounted the asteroid Apophis is the real deal. Discovered by astronomers in December 2004 the asteroid is believed to be about three football fields in length and is massive enough to cause severe damage to the earth should an impact take place. While initial calculations computed the probability of an impact at one in 400, subsequent calculations have placed the probability at one in 250,000.
Calculating the Precise Path of an Asteroid is Complicated and Involves Some Uncertainly
Calculating the precise path of an asteroid is not as easy as many think. The asteroid’s path can be altered in various ways that interact with each other and that are not completely understood. The spin of an asteroid, its mass, the way it reflects and absorbs sun-light, radiates heat, and the gravitational pull of other asteroids passing nearby can all alter the path to a significant degree. The NASA team found that just the affects of solar energy can cause between 12 and 460 miles of position change over the next 18 years leading up to the close encounter with Earth of 2029.
Still, scientists now believe that while Apophis can be seen with the naked eye as it approaches Earth in 2029 it is highly likely that Earth will escape impact with the menacing asteroid. In fact, the expected near encounter projects that Apophis will be 18,000 miles from Earth as it blazes by at about 68,000 mph. But wait, the near-term threat is not over. Apophis will once again approach Earth in 2036.
NASA found that small uncertainties in the masses and positions of the planets and Sun can cause up to 23 Earth radii of prediction error for Apophis by 2036. In addition, the exact 2036 path of Apophis is impossible to accurately predict at this time as the asteroids trajectory will be slightly altered by the Earth’s gravitational field as the 2029 near miss occurs.
Scientists are fairly certain that Apophis will not impact the Earth either in 2029 or 2036. However,due to the probabilities that the asteroids path will be slightly altered over the years due to a complicated mix of factors, scientists admit that there is some possibility, a small one, that Apophis will impact the Earth. Just the fact that the massive asteroid is definitely headed our way will be enough to energize the doomsday crowd.
Apophis Fits Right In With Doomsday Predictions
You can expect mass hysteria as the 2029 and 2036 firm dates approach. For one thing, you can bet that unless the government unexpectedly announces that Apophis will make a direct hit on the earth, that the doom mongers will loudly complain of a government conspiracy to hide the truth from the public. That is for many prophets of doom no matter what government officials say it is unlikely that their statements will be believed,
Even if a catastrophic impact takes place the apocalyptic doomsday crowd will be incorrect with their predictions of the end of the Earth. While such an impact probably would exterminate the human race, along with most if not all life on Earth, it is highly unlikely that it would completely destroy the planet. The planet Earth would survive the impact. It’s the puny arrogant humans who only think that they rule the Earth that would perish.
AsteroidApophis.Com : Asteroid Apophis
NASA : Near Earth Object Program
Space.Com : Tracking Asteroid Apophis: New Photos Catch Potentially Dangerous Space Rock