Asteroid Could Hit Earth in 2182, Destroying All Life

July 28th, 2010 - 11:21 pm ICT by Angela Kaye Mason  

July 28 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Although it may sound like it came straight from the script of a movie, such as “Armageddon”, a huge asteroid which scientists have been watching since 1999 stands a very good chance (one in one thousand) of striking earth, and destroying all life on the planet, with the most likely date of impact being September 24, 2182.

The asteroid, which was named 1999 RQ36 is over 1800 feet wide, and will need to be dealt with at least a century before impact if there will be any chance of stopping it from crashing into the earth, scientists say.

Maria Eugenia Sansaturio from the Universidad de Valladolid in Spain co-authored the study, which was detailed in the science journal ‘Icarus’. The scientists used mathematical models to determine the risk of the asteroid hitting the Earth and when such an impact would happen. There were two potential opportunities for the impact to occur in 2182.

“The consequence of this complex dynamic is not just the likelihood of a comparatively large impact, but also that a realistic deflection procedure (path deviation) could only be made before the impact in 2080, and more easily, before 2060,” Sansaturio stated.

“If this object had been discovered after 2080, the deflection would require a technology that is not currently available,” Sansaturio added. “Therefore, this example suggests that impact monitoring, which up to date does not cover more than 80 or 100 years, may need to encompass more than one century.”

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