Enough bad news, enough gloom and doom. You remember that Asteroid 99942 Apophis
that we were afraid might hit Earth in 2029? Ain't gonna happen. But it will get close enough for Earth's gravity to alter its orbit and there's a chance it could hit the next time around in 2036.
But only a tiny chance: "less than 1 in 45,000 using standard dynamical models
". according to NASA. Oh wait... NASA just got skooled
by a 13-year-old German Astronomy Geek who says the chances are more like 1 in 450
. Still a tiny chance, and the official numbers were only off by a factor of 100
. Oh yeah, we're doomed.
posted by wendell
on Apr 16, 2008 -
NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory recently detected
[reg required] the largest explosion ever detected in the universe: an eruption releasing the energy of hundreds of millions of gamma ray bursts
. Just to put it in perspective, a single GRB
releases enough radiation to wipe out
just about everything human beings would require for survival in a 1000 light year radius. (The Milky Way spans ~100,000 light years, while the United Federation of Planets
spans about 8,000). Arthur C. Clarke has gone so far as suggesting that GRBs might be one of the reasons for Extra-Terrestrial silence: Gamma Ray Bursts
are so large and inescapable, a single one would wipe out even an enormous galactic empire. Makes killer asteroids
seem downright quaint
posted by absalom
on Jan 8, 2005 -
Armageddon in 30 years?
Okay, so maybe hyped up a bit, but there's a 1:500 chance that whatever's out there might hit us. For now scientists don't know if it's really an asteroid, or just some leftover shuttle parts. [via SlashDot]
posted by hobbes
on Nov 4, 2000 -