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Another Asteroid Heading Our Way

Yet another asteroid is heading our way and could hit us in 31 years?will this one spell our doom, like an earlier one did for the dinosaurs? This one is called Apophis, after the ancient Egyptian spirit of evil and destruction.

Alok Jha writes in The Guardian that the asteroid is now aiming for Earth. It?s being watched by astronomers all over the world, and if it looks like it will hit a body of land, they may try to figure out how to deflect it or break it up in space. Most asteroids that hit the Earth land in the ocean, since oceans cover most of the Earth?s area. NASA says that an impact from Apophis, which could come in 2036, would release more than 100,000 times the energy of the nuclear bomb that was detonated over Hiroshima in World War II. No matter where it does hit, we would all be affected by the nuclear winter that effect from millions of dust particles being released into the atmosphere. This is probably what killed off the dinosaurs.

Astronomers have tracked Apophis ever since it was discovered in June but it has only started worrying them now, because they say the odds of it hitting Earth in 2029 are alarming. We don't have much time to lose. It will take many years to design, test and build the technology we need to deflect the asteroid. Meteor expert Monica Grady says an impact by Apophis could cause "mass extinction?We are overdue for a big one."

Art credit: gimp-savvy.com

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