An asteroid will hit Earth and we'll have no defence: Musk

Asteroid 1990 MU could come close to Earth

Asteroid 1990 MU could come close to Earth

Elon Musk has sparked fears that Earth would not be able to defend itself against giant asteroids with one of his recent tweets.

The billionaire made the chilling remark in response to a narrative shared by his friend about NASA's preparation for an incoming monster space rock named after the Egyptian god of chaos, Apophis. For some perspective, Apophis will travel the width of the Full Moon in a minute, getting as bright as the stars as it streaks across the sky. The asteroid, on its current path, will zoom past Earth in 2027 and is constantly being monitored by the CNEOS for any changes that might occur. But it won't be a satellite or an airplane - it will be a 1,100-foot-wide, near-Earth asteroid called "Apophis" that will potentially cruise harmlessly by Earth.

"The Apophis close approach in 2029 will be an incredible opportunity for science", mentioned Marina Brozovic, a radar scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, who works on radar observations of near-Earth objects (NEOs).

Though Musk said that he not particularly anxious about this asteroid, he went on to say that a big asteroid will eventually hit our home planet and we do not have any defenses for it.

Apophis is a consultant of about 2,000 at present identified Probably Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs). So, Musk's reference to the "big rock" that will end us also left many clueless and wondering about humanity's fate.

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NASA's website, though, clearly says, "No known asteroid poses a significant risk of impact with Earth over the next 100 years".

NASA will, in fact, use the 2029 close flyby as an R&D opportunity to prepare our planetary defenses, about which Musk is so concerned.

NASA also has a designated department that finds undetected asteroids and tracks their orbits, so they have data on where exactly an asteroid will be up to hundreds of years in the future. If an undetected asteroid slips through, or 'Oumuamua's twin comes back from us from the great abyss, the impact may very well end us.

Space X and Tesla CEO Elon Musk pointed out on Twitter this week that Earth now has no defence against "killer" asteroids. For now, we'll just have to wait and watch.

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