Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/19/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

May be visible to naked eye 2029, may hit Earth 2036.

Lately it seems like the sky is falling. Comets and asteroids are cross-crossing the heavens above as meteors crash down on Earth. Last week there were two major events as meteors came down over central Russia and northern California. Scientists now say that a potential doomsday asteroid will soon pass near Earth, close enough to be visible to the naked eye.

It will happen someday, but will we be ready?

It will happen someday, but will we be ready?

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/19/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Apophis, Earth, impact, effect, danger, orbit, close, mass


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Asteroid 99942 Apophis, or just Apophis for short, is on a course that will bring it perilously close to Earth in 2029. There is no question the shave will be close, almost as close as the one we received last week from Asteroid 2012 DA14. The pass will be so close, and Apophis so large, that an astute observer could potentially spot it from the ground without a telescope.

Apophis however, is a genuine killer. Unlike 2012 DA14, which had it hit would have likely vaporized in the atmosphere, Apophis is large enough to survive reentry and strike the surface with enough force to cause a massive tsunami should it land in the ocean, or tens of millions of deaths should it strike a populated area.

The impact would have the equivalent energy of about 510 megatons of TNT. That's much more than the largest atomic bomb ever detonated (Tsar Bomba at 50 megatons) and easily more than the Tunguska and Barringer impacts, between the 3-10 megaton range. In short, a collision with Apophis would devastate a large region of the planet.

However, it would still be far smaller than the Chicxulub event, which wiped out the dinosaurs. Scientists have thankfully ruled out any likelihood of an extinction-level event from Apophis.

Still, the asteroid is massive. Apophis is passing close to Earth right now, and researchers have discovered that it's 20 percent larger than previous estimates. The size of the asteroid has been revised upwards to 325 square meters.

They have also been revising their predictions regarding its orbit.

In 2029, Apophis will pass close enough to Earth to be easily visible to observers on the ground. It may even be visible to the naked eye as a point of light moving steadily across the background of stars over several minutes.

Then, in 2036, it may yet have a greater chance of impacting Earth. Although the odds remain miniscule, they are great enough that scientists have already predicted where it is most likely to land.

If Apophis hits in 2036, it could strike along a path that actually starts quite near the Urals where a meteor famously struck last week. That path then continues across Siberia and into the Pacific near Hawai'i. The danger zone crosses Central America in Nicaragua, and brushes the northern coasts of Colombia and Venezuela. The danger zone ends just off the western coast of Africa.

Odds are, the impact will strike the ocean, creating a devastating tsunami that could kill millions.

Fortunately, the odds are strong that it will miss in 2036.

But what about beyond that? Scientists aren't so sure. Apophis has probably been in its dangerous orbit near Earth for thousands, perhaps millions of years. Or, it could be a new arrival, its current, dangerous orbit only decades old. That much is impossible to tell. Regardless, sooner or later, it seems Earth will have a date with Apophis.

When that happens, we can only hope that scientists and governments around the world have a plan in place to protect us, and the ability to use it. Meanwhile, the rest of us will watch and wait, albeit a bit nervously.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Technology

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg predicts the future of technology Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, shared and explained preparations the social media company is developing for the future. Through his profile's Q&A, he explained that he believes we will be soon able to send our thoughts out as we think them, with an optimum ... continue reading


ISIS posting up to 100,000 tweets per day, governments falling behind in cyber war Watch

Image of Sometimes all it takes - is one sympathetic ear or voice in a massive sea of indifference to turn a law-abiding citizen into an agent of terror and mass destruction.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Sometimes all it takes - is one sympathetic ear or voice in a massive sea of indifference to turn a law-abiding citizen into an agent of terror and mass destruction. Islamic State or ISIS continues to post 100,000 tweets daily in order to recruit ... continue reading


Hundreds of iPhone users hit with worrisome 'blue screen of death' Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Complaints have piled up against Apple iPhones, reaching social media, after several iPhones of various models were hit by the "blue screen of death" just before rebooting without any notice. The random occurrences became somewhat of an outbreak, after people revealed ... continue reading


Samsung's amazing new technology promises to help lower car accident fatalities Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Traffic accidents are horrifying and in an effort to prevent road accidents involving trucks, Samsung has introduced its new product, the "Safety Truck." The common response of drivers annoyed by a blocked view of a slow running big truck is they want to get ahead, but ... continue reading


Tokyo's Lexus creates levitating hoverboard -- A reality? Or another hoax? Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

You may find it hard to believe, but a working model for a hoverboard is actually here. The Tokyo branch of Lexus in Japan has developed a model for the hoverboard. It seems to act like magic - at least for now - as the hoverboard promises to carry a person using ... continue reading


Facial recognition technology taking over the world, even APPEARING IN CHURCHES Watch

Image of Facial recognition technology can identify you, even if you're not completely facing a camera.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Companies and events are utilizing facial recognition technology to identify a person's face, even if the face is partially hidden. Facebook uses their vast facial recognition database, which can recognize a face even when it's hidden. Google's new Photos app can now ... continue reading


Strange new COCKROACH ROBOT squeezes through impenetrable gaps Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A team of researchers from the University of California, Berkeley have created a robot based on a cockroach. The new technology is so innovative; it is hard not to find yourself stunned to witness the cockroach bot escape into an extremely miniscule gap. MUNTINLUPA, ... continue reading


Extra-terrestrial life exists - but not at Area 51 Watch

Image of There is life on other planets - but there are no little green men hiding out at Area 51, according to NASA Administrator Major Charles Bolden.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is life on other planets - but there are no little green men hiding out at Area 51, according to NASA Administrator Major Charles Bolden. He was on hand to greet a crowd of curious British schoolchildren, and said that there are so many planets like our ... continue reading


Is there water - and life on Europa, one of Jupiter's moons? Watch

Image of Jupiter is about 390 million miles from Earth when the two planets are at their closest.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Europa, one of Jupiter's larger moons, and is approximately the size of Earth's moon. Many astronomers say the moon has the greatest potential for life in our solar system. To this end, NASA is planning a more in-depth study and mission to this mysterious ... continue reading


Is a 706 MPG car possible? BMW hopes of creating stunning new electric car Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Several months after the release of BMW's i8 hybrid sports car, rumors are circulating about a new model. According to the rumors', the German automaker is currently focusing on the development of a more efficient model than the previous i8. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Genesis 27:1-5, 15-29
1 When Isaac had grown old, and his eyes were so weak ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 135:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 Alleluia! Praise the name of Yahweh, you who serve ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:14-17
14 Then John's disciples came to him and said, 'Why ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 4th, 2015 Image

St. Elizabeth of Portugal
July 4: Elizabeth was a Spanish princess who was given in marriage to ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter