Maybe we should stop worrying about global warming......

  Forum Editor 00:45 10 Jan 2013

and concentrate on what could happen in 2036.

An asteroid measuring 270 metres across has just made what scientists call "a close approach" to earth. In 2029 its orbit will bring it within 22,000 miles of us, close enough for the earth's gravity to alter its orbit. Its precise path after that cannot be calculated now, but there is a small region of space that scientists call a keyhole, and if the asteroid passes through it during its 2029 approach it will come back and hit the earth on 13th April 2036.

The impact would apparently equate to 100 of the most powerful nuclear bombs all being detonated at once, forming a crater approximately 60 miles across. Most of the plant and animal life on earth would cease to exist within a couple of years, and survivors would be forced to lead a hunter-gatherer existence.

So, time to start stocking up on food and petrol - the usual drill when trouble threatens...or perhaps just keep calm and carry on.

  Quickbeam 07:16 10 Jan 2013

Do you realise that you've just justified the reason to remain armed to the teeth in America so as to be able to survive the worst case dog-eat-dog doomsday aftermath scenario...?

  Quickbeam 07:28 10 Jan 2013

On the positive side, it could be that the mass cull of humankind will enable mankind to survive much longer on Earth by ridding at a stroke the unsustainable hugely increasing population. The resultant surviving population compared to any previous natural disastrous cull, will have the benefit of science and technology knowledge to revive life on Earth for the future. Unlike the Dinosaurs that were too dumb to know what the hell happened!

On the negative side, well lets not worry too much unnecessarily... but will an Anderson shelter be any good?

  lotvic 09:00 10 Jan 2013

Friday the 13th April 2029

2029 (2+0+2+9) = 13

asteroid 999 42

and 42 is the answer to life the universe and everything

now who says superstition/coincidence is bunkum?

  lotvic 09:07 10 Jan 2013

..and now I read that "As of January 9, 2013, the probability of an April 13, 2036 impact is considered to be 1 in 133,000"

I'm going back to bed, I must stop eating cheese for supper.

  lotvic 10:12 10 Jan 2013

spider9, I wouldn't discount the possibility of some plan forming in some Nasa and other scientists minds.. seriously.

  Quickbeam 11:14 10 Jan 2013

...and you can make a fully serviceable Anderson shelter out of the empty cans.

  Quickbeam 11:28 10 Jan 2013

"It is not that big surely they would be able to destroy it before it got this far."

Bruce Willis is the man for that.

  lotvic 11:34 10 Jan 2013

How old will he be when called upon? is that why they keep raising the retirement age? ;)

  Mr Mistoffelees 12:47 10 Jan 2013

I foresee the doomsayers working themselves up into a right old frenzy in 23 years time.

  Flak999 14:37 10 Jan 2013

Data collected by telescopes during today's close approach are expected to refine the asteroid's orbit to the point where an impact in 2036 can be ruled out.

Phew! That's OK then, panic over.

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