Elon Musk says we have no defence against asteroid ‘God of Chaos'

'God of Chaos' asteroid, Apophis, will fly by Earth in ten yearsNASA

  • Apophis, the 'God of Chaos' asteroid will be passing by Earth on April 13, 2029.
  • The asteroid could do considerable damage if it were to collide into Earth.
  • According to Billionaire Elon Musk, CEO and Founder of Tesla and SpaceX, the asteroid is coming and we have defence.
Apophis, also known as the 'God of Chaos' asteroid, will be making its way to Earth in ten years.

The odds of a head-on collision with the 340 meter asteroid is one in 45,000. But as it passes by, it will all but brush with the Earth’s surface, coming as close as 30,000 kilometers.
Trajectory of Apophis as it passes by Earth on April 13, 2029NASA

Should the ‘God of Chaos’ choose to shift even a little bit, the resulting impact will be catastrophic. The after-effects will dwarf in comparison to any other asteroid that has ever hit Earth in human history.

We currently have no defence

Scientists speculate that it's only a matter of time before an asteroid hits Earth. The latest one to join the bandwagon is billionaire Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX.

"A big rock will hit Earth eventually and we currently have no defence," he said commenting on God of Chaos.

He is not wrong. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has instruments in place to study and protect Earth from an asteroid that could potentially be dangerous. But, it has no actual protocols in place to defend the planet in case an asteroid is on a collision course.

NASA only announced its first Planetary Defence Technology Demonstration earlier this year. The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) will be the space agency's first mission to demonstrate its plans for how to defend itself.

Earth's impact on the asteroid

Most people are usually worried about how an asteroid will impact Earth but few think about the impact Earth would have on an asteroid.

The God of Chaos, for instance, won't be immune to the effects of a close encounter with Earth. The planet's gravitational field will definitely have an impact on the asteroid's orbit and could change the way Apophis spins, according to scientists at NASA.

Interestingly, the gravitational pull could also result in surface change on Apophis and cause an avalanche.

An opportunity for science

It's not uncommon for asteroids between 5-10 meters in size to pass by Earth but asteroids the size of Apophis are rare. They are fewer in number and don't normally cut this close to Earth.

Famous fly-bys of Near Earth Objects (NEOs)NASA

"We'll observe the asteroid with both optical and radar telescopes. With radar observations, we might be able to see surface details that are only a few meters in size," said Marin Brozovic, a radar scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

See also:
It might not be 'dinosaur destroying' but it's only a matter of time before an asteroid hits Earth

What happens when an asteroid actually hits Earth

An asteroid nearly half the size of Mount Everest might be on a collision course for Earth in less than a year

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