Asteroid will hit earth eventually, we have no defence yet: Elon Musk

James Marshall
August 23, 2019

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has predicted that a huge asteroid will eventually hit the Earth and there may not be any way to defend it. Musk was tweeting his views about the present space defence system. It is expected to come as close as ~31,000 kilometres to the surface. According to NASA's calculations, the 99942 Apophis will pass our planet on April 13, 2029, which is nearly a decade later.

While it will travel more than the width of the full Moon within a minute when it screams past Earth on April 13, 2029, the asteroid, named after the Egyptian god of evil and destruction who dwelled in eternal darkness, will more likely provide a magnificent spectacle for stargazers than the doom of all life on Earth.

Nevertheless it will not be a satellite tv for pc or an airplane - it is going to be a 1,100-foot-wide, near-Earth asteroid referred to as "Apophis" that may doubtlessly cruise harmlessly by Earth.

An enormous asteroid that's more than twice as large as the Empire State Building is about to skim past Earth in three weeks.

And Musk isn't wrong: Scientists do think the Earth is overdue for another massive asteroid strike like the one that wiped out the dinosaurs.

NASA's Andrew Rivkin said a year ago: 'With DART, we want to understand the nature of asteroids by seeing how a representative body reacts when impacted, with an eye toward applying that knowledge if we are faced with the need to deflect an incoming object'. "With radar observations, we might be able to see surface details that are only a few meters in size", she added.

Apophis is a representative of about 2,000 now known Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs).

The space agency also has a designated department, the Center for NEO Studies, that monitors and addresses undetected asteroids and their orbits to find out exactly what path an asteroid will take up to hundreds of years into the future.

NASA will, in fact, use the 2029 close flyby as an R&D opportunity to prepare our planetary defenses, about which Musk is so concerned. If an undetected asteroid slips through, or 'Oumuamua's twin comes back from us from the great abyss, the impact may very well end us. For now, we'll just have to wait and watch.

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