October 29, 2020

Finally, 2 Months Early, We Get to Discuss Something that is NOT a 2020 Headline

2068 is gonna be lit!

We've discussed Apophis before, but not recently...we were still on Blogspot back then. Basically Apophis is an Earth crossing asteroid that someone decided to tempt fate by naming after an Egyptian god of destruction. In late 2005 there was some speculation that it would impact the Earth in 2036, but subsequent calculations indicated that was not actually the case. 

 Computer model of Apophis from Wikipedia

Now, in 2020, astronomers looked at the space rock's most recent pass and amended their amendment to their calculations with the result that they think this dollop of deep-space detritus has a 0.00067% chance of impacting the earth with the force of 1.2 gigatons of TNT in 2068. 

This is not a high probability event, but if it comes to pass it is a very consequential, as a blast yield of 1200 megatons is a, shall we say, impactful, event no matter where on Earth it happens.  Furthermore, this asteroid tends to have close calls frequently, meaning that in the long term, an eventual impact is almost certain. 

The good news is that we've got plenty of time to mitigate this and try, fail, and try again to deflect the object and still have time to reflect upon and learn from mistakes made and lessons learned. 

The Brickmuppet's Crack team of Science Babes begin training to take care of business. 

For instance: The next time one discovers an Earth crossing asteroid, name it Fluttershy or Snorlax rather than after some ancient Egyptian god of chaos and death. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 06:53 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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