SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk has predicted that a huge asteroid will eventually hit the Earth and there may not be any way to defend it. Musk was tweeting his views about the present space defence system. He retweeted a tweet about 99942 Apophis asteroid which is being dubbed as the ‘colossal God of Chaos’. The huge asteroid is set to pass by the Earth after 10 years.
Though Musk said that he not particularly worried 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.
“Great name! Wouldn’t worry about this particular one, but a big rock will hit Earth eventually & we currently have no defense.” Musk wrote on the tweet.
Great name! Wouldn’t worry about this particular one, but a big rock will hit Earth eventually & we currently have no defense. https://t.co/XhY8uoNNax
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 18, 2019
The asteroid 99942 Apophis has been named after the ancient Egyptian deity who embodied chaos. According to NASA’s calculations, the 99942 Apophis will pass our planet on April 13, 2029, which is almost a decade later. However, scientists are already preparing for this important celestial event.
According to the scientists at NASA, this particular asteroid is one of around 2,000 presently known Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) that may collide with the Earth in the future and may cause major damages. Though 99942 Apophis asteroid will cruise harmlessly by Earth, according to NASA, it will come very close to our planet at around 19,000 miles or 31,000 km above the surface. This is the distance at which some of the spacecrafts are orbiting Earth, NASA explained.
However, there are some concerns related to the 99942 Apophis asteroid. Recently a well-known astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, in an episode of his podcast ‘Cosmic Queries’ had discussed the threat that is posed by giant asteroids heading towards the Earth. He had warned that the 370-meter wide Near-Earth asteroid 99942 Apophis might spark a major tsunami that can potentially wipe out the entire west coast of North America if it manages to hit the Earth.
Apart from 99942 Apophis asteroid, there is another one called 1990 MU asteroid, which is expected to get dangerously close to our planet by June 2027. As per the data available with the Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), which is a part of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the 4953 (1990 MU) asteroid will be at its closest distance from the blue planet, which is 0.03083 astronomical units (AU), or approximately 4.61 million kilometers from the Earth. An AU can be defined as the distance between the Sun and the Earth.