Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Apophis: the killer asteroid

remember mighty Nasa's mission to Mars when one half of the team were calculating distances in miles while the other half of the team were calculating distances in kilometers and the lander just 'went missing'?

Panic not, proclaimed the statistical might of Nasa's mainframes. Apophis, cutely known as the killer asteroid, has only a 1 in 45,000 chance of hitting planet earth in 2036. Then some bright young German spark, a 13 year old boy called Nico Marquardt, re-examined the data for a school science project.

As the asteroid was due to skate by our planet in 2029 at 32,000 kilometers that puts it 3,000 kilometers within the 'sphere of satellites' that orbit this fine planet. If it clips one of them, next time it comes around, there's now a 1 in 450 chance it'll hit slap-bang in the Atlantic Ocean - a ball of iron and iridium 320m wide and weighing 200 billion tonnes.

All the apocalyptic details and more technical horror gumph at ... twenty-one-sided-dice news portal choice.

of course, it's all a hoax.

1 comment:

Ben Newman said...

god damn thats scary.
eek.