Title: Asteroid Apocalypse? Why Scientists Worry About 2036 ‘Planet Buster’
Author: Michio Kaku
Date: Feb 26, 2013
Asteroid Apocalypse? Why Scientists Worry About 2036 ‘Planet Buster’
The recent crash-down in Russia was a fleabite. The one in 2036 could destroy entire nations… [...]
The asteroid packed a huge punch, the power of 20 Hiroshima bombs. It was a “city buster,” capable of flattening a modern metropolis and reducing it to rubble. It was a miracle that the asteroid exploded roughly 10 to 15 miles above ground: had there been a ground burst, it would have caused tens of thousands of casualties. If that asteroid had hit just a few seconds later, it would have created a tragedy on Earth.
[...] Lurking in space are asteroids even bigger than the city busters—to wit, “nation busters” big enough to destroy Germany or England. The most dangerous one is called Apophis, which is 1,000 feet across and will come dangerously close to Earth in 2029 and again in 2036. The most recent calculations show that Apophis will barely miss Earth in 2029, but will actually graze our atmosphere. But because of the uncertainty of its path as it whizzes past, there is a small possibility that its orbit may be perturbed so it might actually hit Earth in 2036. NASA scientists are reasonably confident it will still miss Earth in 2036, but the head of the Russian space agency takes the threat of a collision seriously, stating that we have to prepare for the worst. If Apophis hits Earth, it would have the force of approximately 20,000 Hiroshima bombs.
See also: NASA: Russian meteor was actually a "tiny asteroid" -- Believed to be from belt between Mars and Jupiter
Published: February 23rd, 2013 at 12:17 pm ET
- Neil deGrasse Tyson: What do you mean how likely is an asteroid impact in U.S.? We just saw Russia! — CNN: When a scientist says ‘pray’ you know you’re in trouble (VIDEO) March 25, 2013
- CNN Expert: Asteroid will miss us “by about 15 minutes” next week — Would flatten around 1,200 sq. miles — Coming closer than TV satellites (VIDEO) February 9, 2013
- Analysis: Prepare for Fukushima’s economic consequences, worst may be yet to come — Pay close attention to latest scientific data from plant, it could become even more tragic — Examine impact on rest of world September 15, 2013
- NBC: Record level of sick or injured California seals and sea lions turning up — “The numbers are extraordinary” — “Scientists worried… The worst kind of perfect storm” — Pups should be weighing 2 or 3 times as much, “severely malnourished” (VIDEO) April 18, 2014
- TV: “Animals basically dying on our beaches” along West Coast — “New, worse calamity seems to be unfolding” — Experts: “Like walking skeletons”; “So hungry they gnaw on rocks”; “Skin hanging off”; “Extremely unusual… maybe the fish have all left”; “Prepare for the worst” (VIDEOS) February 1, 2015