*** Hundreds of scientists around the world are working on projects to try and intercept asteroid 99942 "Apophis" and predict its trajectory more accurately. Experts have announced that the object "could" hit Earth on April 13th, 2029. The impact would unleash a cataclysmic explosion "100,000 times" more powerful than the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The asteroid was named after an ancient Egyptian prophecy: "Apophis was the ancient spirit of evil and destruction, a demon that was determined to plunge the world into eternal darkness". Some people believe the Bible contains prophecies about asteroid or comet impacts at the end of the world, particularly the book of Revelation, e.g.: "...I saw a star that had fallen from heaven to earth ... from the shaft rose smoke ... a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke..." (Rev 9:1-2); "...they were cast upon the earth ... trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up..." (Rev. 8:7); "something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea" (Rev. 8:8); "a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch..." (Rev. 8:9). There are comparable verses in other texts, e.g. Qur'an 69:13-15. ***
Scientists trying to stop Apophis asteroid hitting Earth in 2029
Real-life 'Armageddon': British engineers bid to save Earth from deadly asteroid collision
Like a scene from the hit film Armageddon, British engineers have joined a competition to try and save the Earth from a catastrophic collision with an asteroid which could be heading our way.
Apophis is a 300-metre-wide asteroid and is still millions of kilometres away.
But, in 2029, its orbit will take it worryingly close to Earth – closer than many satellites.
When it does, its orbit around the Sun will be affected and just a tiny shift of just a few hundred kilometres could mean Apophis returns in 2036 to slam into Earth, creating unimaginable death and destruction.
UK-based space firm EADS Astrium has bid to develop a spacecraft, known as Apex, which would reach the asteroid in 2014.
Apex will monitor it closely so as to better understand any risk it may pose in the future.
According to the Planetary Society, which is offering a £25,000 prize for the best idea to "rendezvous with and 'tag'" Apophis, something needs to be done to assess the risk.
The Society says on its website: "Will Apophis pass through the "keyhole," the small area on its 2029 path that would cause it to hit Earth on its next orbit in 2036?
"We have to find out, because if an impact is likely to occur, we're going to need all the time possible to plan and implement space missions to deflect it away from Earth."
The full mission would cost several million dollars to develop and run.
According to the Planetary Society, more than 100 teams worldwide are developing plans for Apophis missions.
Daily Mail, "Real-life 'Armageddon': British engineers bid to save Earth from deadly asteroid collision", 31 August 2007.
The Guardian, "It's called Apophis. It's 390m wide. And it could hit Earth in 31 years time", 7 December 2005,
In Egyptian myth, Apophis was the ancient spirit of evil and destruction, a demon that was determined to plunge the world into eternal darkness.
A fitting name, astronomers reasoned, for a menace now hurtling towards Earth from outerspace. Scientists are monitoring the progress of a 390-metre wide asteroid discovered last year that is potentially on a collision course with the planet, and are imploring governments to decide on a strategy for dealing with it.
Nasa has estimated that an impact from Apophis, which has an outside chance of hitting the Earth in 2036, would release more than 100,000 times the energy released in the nuclear blast over Hiroshima. Thousands of square kilometres would be directly affected by the blast but the whole of the Earth would see the effects of the dust released into the atmosphere.
And, scientists insist, there is actually very little time left to decide. At a recent meeting of experts in near-Earth objects (NEOs) in London, scientists said it could take decades to design, test and build the required technology to deflect the asteroid. Monica Grady, an expert in meteorites at the Open University, said: "It's a question of when, not if, a near Earth object collides with Earth. Many of the smaller objects break up when they reach the Earth's atmosphere and have no impact. However, a NEO larger than 1km [wide] will collide with Earth every few hundred thousand years and a NEO larger than 6km, which could cause mass extinction, will collide with Earth every hundred million years. We are overdue for a big one."
BBC News, "UK plan to track asteroid threat", 31 August 2007,
UK space scientists and engineers have designed a mission to investigate a potentially hazardous asteroid.
The 300m-wide (980ft) rock, known as Apophis, will fly past Earth in April 2029 at a distance that is closer than many communications satellites.
Astrium, based in Stevenage, Herts, wants a probe to track the asteroid so its orbit can be better understood.
The concept will compete for a $50,000 (£25,000) Planetary Society prize, but a full mission would cost millions.
Evening Standard, "Asteroid on course to hit earth", 24 July 2002.
vAn asteroid more than a mile wide is on course to devastate the earth in 17 years.
Early predictions suggest that NT7 is due to hit on 1 February 2019, and astronomers have given the asteroid a rating on the socalled Palermo technical scale of threat of 0.06, making it the first object to be given a positive value.
From its brightness, astronomers estimate it is about two kilometres wide ? large enough to cause continent-wide devastation on the earth. It circles the sun every 837 days and travels in a tilted orbit from about the distance of Mars to just within the earth?s orbit.
Detailed calculations of its orbit suggest many occasions when its projected path through space intersects that of the earth.
Researchers estimate that in 2019, its impact velocity would be 28km a second - enough to wipe out a continent and cause global climate changes.
Dr Benny Peiser, of Liverpool John Moores University, said: "This asteroid has now become the most threatening object in the short history of asteroid detection."
Evening Standard, "Asteroid could hit Earth in 2014", 2 September 2003.
An asteroid could collide with the Earth in 2014, astronomers have warned.
The British agency responsible for identifying potentially hazardous asteroids says colleagues in the United States have warned that the collision may take place on 21 March of that year.
However scientists have put the chances of the collision as being one in 909,000 - odds that are likely to decrease as more data is gathered. In the meantime they are to keep monitoring its progress because of its sheer size.
The rock measures two thirds of a mile across, a tenth of the size of the asteroid thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs when it crashed into the Gulf Of Mexico 65 million years ago creating a fireball across North America that blanketed the world in smoke and ash for decades.
Today's asteroid is heading in our direction at 20 miles a second. It has been labelled "2003 QQ 47" and astronomers will be keeping an eye on it for the next two months.
Plans to knock rogue asteroids off a potential course towards Earth are currently being studied with funding from the European Space Agency.
Evening Standard, "Chicago hit by asteroid rocks", 28 March 2003.
An asteroid has hit Chicago after exploding in a fireball, it emerged today.
About 500 pieces of rock, some as big as a human head, rained down on a 10 kilometre-wide area after a flash that turned night to day, followed by the rumbling boom of a huge explosion.
In the suburb of Park Forest one rock smashed through the roof of a home just missing a 13-year-old boy asleep in bed. A number of other houses were damaged.
Emergency services were flooded with panic calls on Wednesday night after the explosion sparked fears of a terror attack.
Nasa's Bill Cook said: "It was a small space rock, perhaps one or two metres wide with a mass of about 10 metric tonnes."
"The Insider" mailing list article, 01 September 2007.
Tags: Apophis, asteroid, 2029, mission, meteor, comet, predictions, apocalypse, End-Times, Bible, Revelations, prophecy, Revelation, , conspiracy theories.