We learned today that an 11 hundred foot asteroid will be arriving close enough for us to see on Friday, February 13, 2029.
The asteroid, aptly named Apophis, for the Greek God of destruction, will come within 19,000 miles of earth. This means that if the scientists are correct, it will come closer than many of our satellites positioned in earth’s orbit.
That’s pretty damn close.
In fact, if I remember my Newtonian principles, I seem to recall the law about how mass attracts mass, and if the scientists are wrong and the asteroid comes close enough to us that our gravity actually pulls it closer, there is a much greater chance that, in 2029, we will be hit by a rather large asteroid that could have devastating global effects.
Let’s assume (and pray) it just zooms right by us. After all, we trust our scientists – don’t we?
And if it misses us in 2029, what about the next pass by in 2036? NASA says the 2036 flyby track puts it much farther away from the earth, but there are concerns the 2029 flyby could be somewhat unpredictable. Why? Because asteroids are unpredictable. We only know now, ten years out, that it will come as close as 19,000 miles. To give you perspective, the Moon is 240,000 miles from Earth. This puts Apophis about close enough for us to see with the naked eye in daytime.
Here is what I would look for in the coming years:
1) Over-the-top denial that we have anything to worry about (which we see today in the news)
2) An increase in underground construction near certain large cities along the east coast, or military training exercises for unknown reasons.
3) Legislation being drafted that allows for large scale relocation of millions of people against their will (in the event of an emergency).
4) Lots of money suddenly being poured into Space Agency research projects (under the guise of so-called new Airspace Force, perhaps, for so-called “Climate-Change” projects?)
5) Silence from our political leaders about the subject to avoid panic and a constant reassurance that ‘all is fine.’
6) An unexpected run on gold in China, Russia, Japan, Korea or Europe (where scientist might have other data that shows impact is likely).
For the most part I think scientists would tell us if they thought there was a good chance we could be hit, but in the interest of national security, I could also see scientists being threatened with jail time if they open their mouths and create panic.
For the same reason the scientists could be wrong, they will not tell us unless they know for certain there will be a major impact, and so no announcement will be made either way.
Denial , at least for now, is probably better for everyone. After all, if there was going to be a major asteroid impact and millions of people, possibly tens of millions, would die, what could anyone do about it?
And this is why the wisdom of the elders have long taught us to value every minute of life, cause you never know when you are going to be hit by a bus – or an asteroid named Destruction.