Perhaps the most unsettling thing about a planet-killing asteroid is that we might never see it coming. But this infographic by Mechanicsville, Md.-based designer Zachary Vabolis helpfully visualizes which candidate near-earth objects will be swinging through Earth’s neighborhood and when they’ll be closest.
The universe has only about 3.7 billion years in which to settle its affairs. At least, that’s the new assertion from a group of physicists who say that there is a 50 percent chance that time will end within that time frame. If the laws of physics as we understand them are in fact correct, then time must eventually end – and their math shows that both the sun and the Earth should still be around when that happens.
Good news everyone! Armageddon has been postponed by another 60 seconds.
This morning, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (BAS) moved the hands of the Doomsday Clock back to six minutes before midnight. The clock is a symbolic timepiece that measures the threat of human extinction due to man-made causes, and recent international action on global warming, combined with cooperation between Russia and the US on nuclear weapon reduction, provided the incentive for the scientists to roll it back a minute.
Doomsdayers and 2012 blog-keepers, take note. Astronomers at this week's American Astronomical Society meeting revealed that a massive white dwarf star in the throes of multiple nova is much closer to our solar system than once thought. When it does finally collapse into a type Ia supernova -- okay, if it collapses into a type Ia supernova -- the resulting thermonuclear blast will destroy life on earth. Seriously.
Cue the Aerosmith soundtrack; a plan to send a manned space mission to land on an asteroid is gaining traction within both NASA and the aerospace industry as experts look to bridge the feasibility gap between lunar missions and an eventual rendezvous with Mars. Of course, no party is ruling out the possibility of an Armageddon-esque trip to a Near Earth Object (NEO) on a harmful trajectory, should the need arise in the future.
As it turns out, the end is not near after all. While you can't keep a good doomsday rumor down, NASA Senior Scientist David Morrison is trying to dispel widely circulated rumors that cosmic events will lead to the end of life on Earth, if not outright destroy the planet, on Dec. 21, 2012.
NEOSSat will be the first spacecraft dedicated to identifying potentially dangerous space rocks
By Gregory MonePosted 05.08.2008 at 9:51 am 1 Comment
In 2009, Canada plans to launch a suitcase-sized spacecraft that will be charged with spotting asteroids that could be on a collision course with Earth. There's already a big ground-based program underway. NASA regularly identifies and tracks asteroids, calculating the likelihood that they could at some point run into our pale blue dot.