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Planet can experience 880 mn tonnes TNT explosion if 27 bn-kg asteroid Apophis hits Earth

The asteroid, bigger than the Eiffel Tower, may hit Earth many decades from now.

, ET Bureau|
Sep 13, 2019, 08.29 AM IST
Getty Images
Impact of asteroid Apophison earth could be 1.6 km wide and 518 metres deep.
Wondering what Apophis is? ETPanache has tried to explain in the simplest way possible.

You know it’s not good news when NASA says there is a chance, albeit very small, of a rock crashing into Planet Earth. Except in this particular instance, the rock is massive. An asteroid hurtling towards Earth is bigger than the Eiffel Tower and is named Apophis, after the Egyptian God of Chaos.

Its path shows that it travels about 31,000 km above the Earth’s surface, and there is a possibility that it will skim close to its surface. NASA said, “Current calculations show that Apophis still has a small chance of impacting Earth, less than 1 in 100,000, and many decades from now.”

To put it in perspective, the asteroid is predicted to pass under communication and weather satellites in orbit, travelling at over 40,000 kmph when it swooshes past Earth. And on the off-chance that the 27 billion-kg asteroid does hit Earth, it could create a crater that’s 1.6 km wide and 518 metres deep. The impact would be equal to 880 million tonnes of TNT being detonated.

All very gloomy, right? The only person who isn’t worried is SpaceX founder Elon Musk, who had already warned that if a massive asteroid hits Earth, we will not be able to do anything about it.

Durians, Tesla Roadster And Other Strange Items Orbiting The Earth

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Out Of This World

12 Jun, 2018
The next time a spacecraft is launched, it could have a smelly companion on board. Durians, the famous stinky fruit, are being sent to space to test for astronaut consumption. Here are other strange items orbiting the earth. (Text: Viandra D'souza)

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