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Apocalypse Alley: The asteroid Apophis 2068

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Here’s something to worry about if crazy COVID fears haven’t melted down all your worry beads:

There is a slight chance that the asteroid Apophis could hit Earth in 2068. Meanwhile, it is coming close enough to study in 2029:

Should Apophis crash into Earth, it would unleash the equivalent of 1,150 megatons of TNT, in an event 3,800 times more powerful than the atomic bomb detonated over Hiroshima. The 2029 close approach, therefore, presents a crucially important opportunity to study this asteroid in more detail so scientists can further evaluate its risk potential. What’s more, the exercise could serve as a trial run should we one day detect an object even scarier than Apophis…

It may have occurred to some of you that these missions, whether flybys, rendezvous, robotic probes, or drills, might actually alter Apophis’s orbital dynamics and make the asteroid even more threatening to Earth. This was actually discussed at the conference, and it’s an issue important enough for me to devote an entire article on the subject. Stay tuned for more! George Dvorsky, “Asteroid Apophis Could One Day Hit Earth. Here’s How We Could Get to It First” at Gizmodo

See, we promised you a brand new worry and here’s one! We could go the way of the dinosaurs.

At least we’d’ve seen it coming.

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