An Asteroid is Going to Hit Earth and We are Not Prepared for It Says Elon Musk
On April 13, 2029, a speck of light will pass across the sky, getting faster and brighter. At one point it will travel more than the width of the full Moon and within a minute it will get as bright as stars.
Space explorer and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has predicted that a huge asteroid is eventually going to hit humanity on earth and there will be no way out, as we are not prepared for it.
An asteroid called Apophis, which is named after an Egyptian ‘God of Chaos’, will dangerously come close to the earth, just 31,000 kms above the surface and has a greater chance of hitting the earth.
Musk tweeted, “Great name! Wouldn’t worry about this particular one, but a big rock will hit Earth eventually and we currently have no defence”.
According to a space calculation, on April 13, 2029, a speck of light will pass across the sky, getting faster and brighter. At one point it will travel more than the width of the full moon and within a minute it will get as bright as stars. It won’t be just as the size of a satellite or an airplane, it will be a large 1,100-foot-wide, near-Earth asteroid called ‘Apophis’ that will potentially cruise harmlessly by earth.
Radar scientist, Marina Brozovic of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, says, “The Apophis close approach in 2029 will be an incredible opportunity for science. We’ll observe the asteroid with both optical and radar telescopes. With radar observations, we might be able to see surface details that are only a few meters in size”.
Davide Farnocchia, an astronomer associated with JPL in a blog post wrote, “It is possible that there will be some surface changes, like small avalanches”.
It will be a very rare phenomenon for an asteroid of this size to pass so closely by the earth. Although scientists have spotted smaller asteroids, on the order between 5 to 10 meters, flying by Earth at a similar distance. Asteroids of the size of Apophis are very rare in number and so do not pass such close to the Earth as often.
The asteroid, which will look like a moving star-like point of light, will for the first time visible by the naked eye in the night sky over the Southern Hemisphere, while it will be flying above the earth from the east coast to the west coast of Australia.
The asteroid will also cross the Indian Ocean and by the afternoon in the eastern US, crossing the equator it will move further west, above Africa.
NASA recently predicted, “Current calculations show that Apophis still has a small chance of impacting Earth, less than 1 in 100,000 many decades from now, but the future measurements of its position can be expected to rule out any possible impacts”.
Asteroid Apophis is a representative of about 2,000 existing known Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs).