We are not alone – Asteroids

Asteroids, comets and meteorites are all around us, most of them are not a threat to Earth. However, those that are greater than 15 m (500 ft) in diameter and generally have orbits that cross ours or approach us (0.05 AU, approximately 7,480,000 km or 4,650,000 mi), are considered Ppotentially Hdangerous FORsteroids.PHAs)

Currently, NASA has identified 912 known PHAs. The reason these objects are a threat is that their orbits, although currently known and mapped, can change. An asteroid that passes nearby but now poses no threat may have its orbit disturbed by any of many factors and possibly pose a greater threat of impacting Earth.

When one of these objects has a SUBWAYminimum ORrbit Iintersection DistanceMOID), with Earth putting orbit on a possible collision course with our Earth, there is a lot of excitement and hype. This was the case for 2004 MN4, then labeled S142 and later earned the Apophis name with close encounters in 2029 and 2036.

There are problems predicting the orbits of asteroids when they are first discovered.

When Apophis was discovered in 2004, it was estimated to have a 2.7% chance of impacting Earth in 2029. Further studies of the orbit showed that there was no risk of impact in 2029, but that there will be a close approach. Apophis is a good example to consider when studying the impact possibilities of asteroids.

Measurements taken by the Arecibo Planetary Radar Telescope in 2005 and 2006 reduced the chance of an impact and improved the predicted location in 2029 to 2%.

There is still a small estimated chance of impact (1 in 45,000) for April 13, 2036. Optical measurements with telescopes will not be possible until 2011 and better radar measurements will not be possible until 2013.

Things that movies are made of, Friday the 13th.

Films are already being made showing the disasters that could result from asteroid impacts with the earth and attempts to stop them. Given that Friday the 13th is the day of the close encounter with Apophis, in 2029, I’m sure this will spark writers’ imaginations for years to come.

The Apophis study led by Jon Giorgini, an analyst in JPL’s Solar System Dynamics group, found that solar energy can cause between 20 and 740 km (12 and 460 miles) of position change over the next 22 years before the encounter. with the Earth of 2029.. But just 7 years later, the effect on Apophis’ predicted position can grow between 520,000 and 30 million kilometers (323,000 and 18.6 million miles). This range makes it difficult to predict whether Apophis will have a close encounter with Earth in 2036 when the orbital paths intersect.

Easter Sunday on April 13, 2036, and a bright star coming out of the east, could generate all kinds of speculation and also be a great story for Christian filmmakers. In 2029 Apophis is believed to appear to the naked eye as a moderately bright spot of light moving rapidly across the sky. But you would have to be on a ship in the mid-Atlantic to witness the event. We’re still not sure what Apophis will look like to the naked eye on Easter Sunday in April 2036.

Apophis meeting with 2004 VD17 in 2034.

Another potentially dangerous asteroid, 2004 VD17, will approach Apophis on July 17, 2034, just two years before Apophis meets Earth. There is a small chance that this close encounter could change the orbit of one or both asteroids.

The VD17 is now scheduled to pass within half the diameter of the earth on May 4, 2102, however based on NASA orbit information it will reach 8.8 diameters of the earth (902,000 miles) the May 3, 2032 and then a close encounter. with Apophis two years later. I have to wonder, will the close encounter with Earth change its orbit and bring it closer to Apophis?

The orbit of asteroid 2007 VK184 calculated on December 18, 2007 shows a high risk of Earth impact.

The 2007 VK184 tracking results indicate a close encounter in 2048 and a possible impact in 2053. This information was posted on the NASA website while I was writing this article. I am confident that improvements will be made to orbit in the coming months.

As Easter Sunday April 13, 2036 approaches, it will be interesting, to say the least, to follow updates from the orbit of Apophis the Destroyer. Pattern of: evil and darkness. Appearance: a large snake or crocodile.

And the third angel sounded the trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a lamp, and fell on a third of the rivers and on the fountains of water; And the name of the star is called Wormwood … (Revelation 8: 10-11 KJV)