Asteroid (space rock) is a small, rocky object that orbit the Sun. The asteroids approach towards the Earth due to the gravitational forces that affect them. Asteroids can bring tsunamis, shock waves and flattening winds that could be catastrophic. A large number of asteroids are hovering all around the Earth and we might get hit too sooner or later. In August this year, asteroids identified as 2019 ON, 2006 QQ23, 454094 2013 BZ45, 2018 PN22, 2016 PD, 2002 JR100 and 2019 OU1 would have hit our planet. Lucky we are, as they all failed to hit our planet and we are safe. However, an expert has warned that the asteroid named as Apophis also known as ‘God of Chaos’, which has 65,000 times the power of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima, has a bigger chance of hitting Earth than you have of dying in an aviation disaster. Yes, you read it right.
According to a report of express.co.uk, the Apophis God of Chaos asteroid is named after the Ancient Egyptian god of evil, darkness and destruction. According to the scientists, the asteroid would leave a crater more than a mile wide and a 518 metres deep. The 370m-wide space rock is potentially on a collision course with Earth. It is worth mentioning here that NASA is also unable to rule out the collision.
If hits, the impact of the asteroid Apophis, would be equivalent to 880million tons of TNT being detonated – 65,000 times as powerful as the nuclear bomb which was dropped on Hiroshima. The space rock was first discovered in 2004. NASA had then said that the asteroid may hit Earth in 2029. The US space agency had further noted that there was a 2.7 per cent chance of impacting our planet.
Importantly, experts across the globe are still worried about a potential impact of on April 12, 2068. Whereas, NASA also believes that Apophis has one in 150,000 chance of colliding in 2068.
In his new book, Bryan Walsh said, “The chance of Apophis hitting Earth over the next century is a microscopic 0.00089 percent as of 2019 – though that is higher than your chance of dying in a plane crash.”
Bryan Walsh is an author of the new book End Times which analyses the existential threats which humanity faces. In the meantime, Experts at NASA will use the next few flybys to study the asteroid and its flight path in better detail. Radar NASA scientist Marina Brozovic said, “The Apophis close approach in 2029 will be an incredible opportunity for science.”
Astronomer Davide Farnocchia said, “We already know that the close encounter with Earth will change Apophis’ orbit. But our models also show the close approach could change the way this asteroid spins and it is possible that there will be some surfaces changes, like small avalanches.”