Tag Archives: Apophis

Catastrophe 2036

NEOs, or Near-Earth Objects, are well known to astronomers who generally believe there is very little chance of them hitting the planet. Earth simply is too small and the solar system is too vast. Places like Meteor Crater in Arizona are notable for being so rare. But now scientists who study NEOs have a candidate for worry: Apophis, a 250-meter (750 feet) wide asteroid weighing an estimated twenty million tons might strike in 2036. Former moon astronaut Rusty Schweickart wants the hapless, corrupt and dictator-dominated UN to mount an effort to do something about it. Fat chance. At least there’s plenty of time to talk about it, a form of "action" for which the UN is famous. Some sort of talk might be a good thing. Even if Apophis isn’t the size of the object that is believed to have killed the dinosaurs, and even if the odds are it would fall in one of the oceans that form most of the planet, it could still do a lot of damage to coastal areas.