# Who will save our earth?

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13 April 2036 is the possible date on which it is expected that an Asteroid named 99942 Apophis is headed our way to strike earth. Question is can our earth be saved from this future catastrophe?

Source:

http://www.risethemag.com/viewarticles.aspx?catid=36

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13 April 2036 is the possible date on which it is expected that an Asteroid named 99942 Apophis is headed our way to strike earth. Question is can our earth be saved from this future catastrophe?

...

The unlikely event of a hit would be survivable. See Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/99942_Apophis

==quote==

Additional observations of the trajectory of Apophis revealed the keyhole would likely be missed, and on August 5, 2006 Apophis was lowered to a Level 0 on the Torino Scale. As of October 19, 2006, the impact probability for April 13, 2036, was calculated as 1 in 45,000. An additional impact date in 2037 was also identified; the impact probability for that encounter was calculated as 1 in 12.3 million.

==endquote==

Not likely (1 in 45,000) but just out of curiosity, what if? What if it did hit?

==quote==

..The exact effects of any impact would vary based on the asteroid's composition, and the location and angle of impact. Any impact would be extremely detrimental to an area of thousands of square kilometres, but would be unlikely to have long-lasting global effects, such as the initiation of an impact winter...

==endquote==

So think of an area 100 km by 100 km getting wiped out. But it's not the end of civilization or of life on earth.

We should have better estimates as we get closer to 2036.

You seem to be asking a question like "could it be deflected"

I think quite possibly it could be. One would have to know the orbit very accurately (to be certain that it was really going to hit, and to work out the best deflection strategy). So right now what makes sense is precision tracking. There is something about that in the Wikipedia article.

Anybody have some better source material on Apophis and the possible 2036 encounter?

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Because this asteroid will pass near to the earth several times before the potential doomsday, it should be relatively easy to get access to the asteroid. We can get some satellite on its surface years before 2036. My preferred plan is to plant a big nuke on it when it passes, and detonate it far away from earth.

Trust me, I'm an expert (at Asteroids on the old atari)

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I expect that the Earth would be quite happy to have a collision with this asteroid in the same way that a sheep is quite happy to take a dip in a bath of chemicals to get rid of all those nasty parasites...

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Anybody have some better source material on Apophis and the possible 2036 encounter?

Here's one from NASA: http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/risk/a99942.html

The probability of impact is actually a bit lower than 1 in 45,000. In any case, it is not a civilization destroying asteroid, at most it might just cause a longer winter or destroy a city.

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Seeing how the 13th is my birthday, with my luck I think I know where it's going to hit... :|

Anyway, the asteroid is certainly disruptable by thermonuclear weapons, should the probability reach an alarming level in the next 20 years or so.

Edited by Gilded

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What worries me more are all the asteroids that have not been identified. There are several of these, and if they have a very oblong orbit, they could come around and hit us, but would be very hard to find in time to do anything about them.

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Seeing how the 13th is my birthday, with my luck I think I know where it's going to hit... :|

Anyway, the asteroid is certainly disruptable by thermonuclear weapons, should the probability reach an alarming level in the next 20 years or so.

Obama will save us, he's from Krypton.

Seriously, is nuclear the way to go? I was thinking a gentle push with a rocket or solar action might be safer.

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No, nuclear is messy and if done at the wrong time could make the problem worse (lots of small impacts would devastate a larger area). The asteroid might not react in the expected fashion, and you could end up having hardly any effect, or you could put the comet on a new collision course. Fine adjustments are definitely the way to go, unless you discover an asteroid that is heading straight for us and there is no time for careful adjustments.

Of the many solutions I've seen suggested, the one I like most is condensing sunlight onto a spot on the asteroid, vaporizing it. Essentially, it would use the asteroid as fuel to move the asteroid using solar power, and would allow fine control.

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I will do it for $50- nothing like competition in the market. I'll do it for$10 but ten thousand people need to send me the \$10 each. If there's not any more interest than that then let it come, global warming should really be going good by then and a nuclear type winter might do us some good......

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Asteroid Apophis 2004MN4 will come within 29000 km/ 18000 mi of striking the Earth on April 13th, 2029 this asteroid will come inside the orbits of most of are major satellites. This asteriod is the size of 3 football fields and if it hits a 400km gravitational keyhole as it sling shots aroung us then it will return in 2036 for impact. check out the videos on my site.Astronomy and Pictures, See the damage that can happen.

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UTFSE is an acronym. It is crucial to remember that there is a search option. While the indicator for said search field is quite small (much smaller than a football field, depending on your monitor resolution of course), not using it can cause unnecessary threads.

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Apophis 2004MN4 is no longer the correct designation for this asteroid. The official numeric is now 99942. So Wikipedia lists it as

99942 Apophis

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/99942_Apophis

Emaad, who originally started this thread correctly refers to it as 99942 Apophis. I have merged another later thread that only had two posts in with this earlier longer thread about the same asteroid.

It is not clear that Apophis poses much of a threat to our planet, but it can be interesting to speculate (as some have in this thread) how we might respond if it posed a more substantial danger----e.g. were more massive, had a higher probability of impact.

Edited by Martin

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Because this asteroid will pass near to the earth several times before the potential doomsday, it should be relatively easy to get access to the asteroid. We can get some satellite on its surface years before 2036. My preferred plan is to plant a big nuke on it when it passes, and detonate it far away from earth.

Trust me, I'm an expert (at Asteroids on the old atari)

That is the last thing you want to do. What we need to do is land a satellite on its surface or use a satellite as a booster to nudge it a couple of mm a few inches or what ever it will take. If we can do this then we can delay a impact or totally avoid it altogether. All nuking it will do is turn this bullet into buckshot increasing the chance for a impact or the pieces accelerated by the explosion could knock other asteroids off there trajectory and increase the posibility for additional impacts. Its a one pocket billards table out there with the sun being the pocket and the asteroids being the cue ball.

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Its a one pocket billards table out there with the sun being the pocket and the asteroids being the cue ball.

It might be a 2 pocket table. We might be able to send them into the Moon and thus liminat the threat completely from that asteroid (although if it is big enough it might just knock smaller bits off the moon and send them at us - but at least they won't be as bad as the original one hitting us)

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The unlikely event of a hit would be survivable. See Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/99942_Apophis

==quote==

Additional observations of the trajectory of Apophis revealed the keyhole would likely be missed, and on August 5, 2006 Apophis was lowered to a Level 0 on the Torino Scale. As of October 19, 2006, the impact probability for April 13, 2036, was calculated as 1 in 45,000. An additional impact date in 2037 was also identified; the impact probability for that encounter was calculated as 1 in 12.3 million.

==endquote==

Not likely (1 in 45,000) but just out of curiosity, what if? What if it did hit?

==quote==

..The exact effects of any impact would vary based on the asteroid's composition, and the location and angle of impact. Any impact would be extremely detrimental to an area of thousands of square kilometres, but would be unlikely to have long-lasting global effects, such as the initiation of an impact winter...

==endquote==

So think of an area 100 km by 100 km getting wiped out. But it's not the end of civilization or of life on earth.

We should have better estimates as we get closer to 2036.

You seem to be asking a question like "could it be deflected"

I think quite possibly it could be. One would have to know the orbit very accurately (to be certain that it was really going to hit, and to work out the best deflection strategy). So right now what makes sense is precision tracking. There is something about that in the Wikipedia article.

Anybody have some better source material on Apophis and the possible 2036 encounter?

You guys should really read "Death from the Skies" by Dr. Phil Plait.

He goes over the main ways the universe can kill us, but he does it realistically (no 'scare tactics' crap) and with information about possible solutions (if there are any) and odds of any of those things happening. It's a fun book

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According to Wiki, NASA puts the impact enrgy at ca 880 megatons. Given the greater than 50% probability of a sea strike, it could very well take out more than just a city.

A strike in the enclosed water of the Med would be devastating for Southern Europe and North Africa.

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That is the last thing you want to do. What we need to do is land a satellite on its surface or use a satellite as a booster to nudge it a couple of mm a few inches or what ever it will take. If we can do this then we can delay a impact or totally avoid it altogether. All nuking it will do is turn this bullet into buckshot increasing the chance for a impact or the pieces accelerated by the explosion could knock other asteroids off there trajectory and increase the posibility for additional impacts. Its a one pocket billards table out there with the sun being the pocket and the asteroids being the cue ball.

The orbit of 99942 Apophis takes 7 years. It will come close to earth, but 3.5 years later it's really far away... in fact, it will come relatively close to Jupiter's orbit. Should be quite safe to blast this asteroid over there.

But finally, I must agree that a little push might be better than a big blast. Sadly.

My other point was that it is quite easy to plant any device on this asteroid (whether it's a little nudge-device or a bomb), because it comes so close to us every 7 years.

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The orbit of 99942 Apophis takes 7 years. It will come close to earth, but 3.5 years later it's really far away... in fact, it will come relatively close to Jupiter's orbit.

The orbit of 99942 Apophis takes 323.6 days, not seven years. The asteroid never will come close to Jupiter because Apophis' aphelion is 1.099 AU.

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The orbit of 99942 Apophis takes 323.6 days, not seven years. The asteroid never will come close to Jupiter because Apophis' aphelion is 1.099 AU.

In Dr Plait's book he speaks of Apophis returning in 7 years too, and I remember seeing it in a few more places (though he says that the odds of hitting us are incredibly slim).

Specifically he explains that there's a narrow path within the margin of error (of calculating the path) where if Apophis passes there, it will miss the Earth the first time around but will hit the Earth on its next approach in 7 years (and that, too, the odds are slim).

I'll have to try and find the resources either way after my dual-exam today, but if you could post any, D H, that would be very helpful

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The orbit of 99942 Apophis takes 7 years. It will come close to earth, but 3.5 years later it's really far away... in fact, it will come relatively close to Jupiter's orbit. Should be quite safe to blast this asteroid over there.

But finally, I must agree that a little push might be better than a big blast. Sadly.

My other point was that it is quite easy to plant any device on this asteroid (whether it's a little nudge-device or a bomb), because it comes so close to us every 7 years.

Wouldn't the debris still travel basically the same orbit? Even if none of the pieces were big enough to cause damage on Earth, you have just basically shot anything in orbit with a shotgun.

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Wouldn't the debris still travel basically the same orbit? Even if none of the pieces were big enough to cause damage on Earth, you have just basically shot anything in orbit with a shotgun.

Aww, comon! Just let me blast it with a nuke! Pleeeaaaase?

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Some of the ideas for "nuking near it" to nudge it off course seem horribly inefficient to me, seems like you'd get a tiny impulse from radiation pressure, because there's no atmosphere to couple a blast wave to it.

So then you'd think about nuking practically right on top of it, to vaporise material off that side, but you'd be risking busting it up then and shotgunning us.

Then if you start talking about something that approximates a space weapons platform, you get the "what if some mad dictator...."

So what I'd figure on being the best plan is a bunch of "small" mirrors, you get NASA to throw up three, Russia to throw up three, China to throw up three, European Space Agency to throw up three, Brazil to lead a southern hemisphere consortium to throw up three, Japan to lead an indo-asian consortium to throw up three...

These should be sized by agreement such that you need 80% of them to focussed on the same spot to "do" anything, then when an asteroid strolls along and is all "Hai, can haz impact plz? Lolz." then all of 'em can get the eggheads together, and figure the best spot to hit it to achieve deflection and do it in concert.

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