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Asteroid trackers prepare for worst in a bid to "save the Earth"
The scientists are prepping for the D-day.
A new documentary has revealed how scientists in Glasgow, Scotland cleaned the local riverbeds to find remains of an asteroid that collided with Earth hundreds of years ago. The team of scientists claims that this was done in a bid to "save the Earth."
Apophis 99942 is a two-mile-wide near-Earth-orbit asteroid to could be civilization-threatening. NASA, back in 2004 confirmed that there's a 2.7 percent chance that the space rock could collide with Earth in 2029. However, the space agency has since ruled out that data in 2013, saying there's only 150,000/1 probability of an impact with our planet in 2068. But, that hasn't stopped scientists from worrying about it.
Amazon Prime's "Asteroid Trackers" show how astronomy students are prepping for the worst case scenario. Massimiliano Vasile, from the University of Glasgow, said in 2009: "We are talking about saving life on Earth. Apophis is, at the moment, something we have to seriously take into account."
While they failed to locate an actual space rock, they still ran some tests on a rock to observe the results. "We asked if we could try to beam the same power density that we would use on an asteroid on a standard rock. A lot of debris ejected from the rock, followed by a lot of gas. We expected it to be more violent and it would be more gas leaving. We did not expect the laser to break the rock," said Vasile.
The results fall in line with Jay Melosh's theory:
"In space, we would use a mirror like a magnifying glass. As we hit the asteroid, we begin to vaporize material and, as it vaporizes, the asteroid gets pushed the other way. What we would do with a real asteroid is focus some light on it until the rock vaporizes. All we need to do is change the velocity of the asteroid by one centimeter a second. That tiny nudge over the year will push it off a collision course and save Earth."