Scientists live-tweet chilling fake asteroid affect scare

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NASA’s Daybreak spacecraft captured this view of the large asteroid Vesta in 2011.


NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

Asteroid 2019PDC now has a 1 in 100 likelihood of hitting Earth in 2027. Good factor it is fictional.

The world’s high asteroid specialists are gathering on Monday, April 29 on the 2019 Planetary Protection Convention in Washington DC. They’re participating in what appears like an epic RPG: a hypothetical asteroid affect train that can check how Earth responds to the specter of a probably devastating area rock. 

NASA’s Planetary Protection Coordination Workplace developed the train together with the US Federal Emergency Administration Company. “The purpose is to research how NEO observers, area company officers, emergency managers, resolution makers, and residents may reply to an precise affect prediction and evolving info,” NASA mentioned.

The ESA Operations Twitter account is now live-tweeting the complete situation, from the invention of the asteroid (named 2019PDC) to the more and more grim odds it would hit Earth. The primary tweet sounds innocuous. It is a informal point out of worldwide information reviews confirming the asteroid’s discovery.

The strain will increase because the chance of an affect in 2027 ramps up and we uncover the asteroid is 15 occasions larger than the 2013 Chelyabinsk asteroid that exploded over Russia, injuring over 1,200 folks and damaging buildings.

The group is appending every tweet with the all-caps hashtag #FICTIONALEVENT so nobody will freak out. It is nonetheless sobering to observe the occasions, which not too long ago worsened from a 1 in 250 likelihood of affect to 1 in 100. 

ESA Operations will proceed to replace the plot within the coming week. Contributors will obtain each day briefings and should role-play the responses from astronomers, area companies and governments. 

In actuality, we all know of no imminent threats from asteroids, however NASA is consistently monitoring their actions by area. 

What’s most chilling concerning the fictional situation is the true historical past of asteroid impacts on Earth. It is occurred earlier than, because the dinosaurs found to their detriment. It might occur once more. 

ESA’s tweets are simply as riveting as any sci-fi present. Observe alongside to seek out out if humanity survives.



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