The asteroid 99942 Apophis caused a stir back in 2004 when astronomers said it had a 2.7% chance of hitting the Earth in 2029.
Since it's 1,100 feet long, this would be bound to leave a mark, maybe like the one that killed the dinosaurs, maybe like the film 2012.
Whatever, the astronomers backed off. Now they just think it might strike Earth in 2036. Its 2013 passage should deliver data that will help scientists predict its path through 2070. Then you can panic.
Anyway the Russians aren't waiting. Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, wants to lead the way in stopping this horrible 1 in 250,000 chance of occurring. Anatoly Perminov told the Voice of Russia yesterday his agency wants a serious study of the idea, promising no nukes will be used (as in the Bruce Willis film Armageddon).
You know what this means, don't you?
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com