back to article We regret to inform you the massive asteroid NASA's all excited about probably won't hit Earth

An asteroid bigger than the size of three football fields is hurtling towards Earth – and will pass so close to our planet, it'll be visible to the naked eye and may pass through the band of human satellites in geostationary orbit. Before you all panic and start hoarding food, guns, and Mad Max-style clothing, it should be …

  1. Robert Jenkins

    Just wait for all the conspiracy site to appear relating to this.

    2029 is one the key years in the Terminator series so skynet is guaranteed to be included. plus the date being the the 13th for the superstitious ones, especially as it will be a "Friday 13th" in 2029.

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Will that be morning or afternoon? Just so I know to tell Amazon not to bother.

    2. Rich 11 Silver badge

      The stupids have started already

      “Everybody calm down but are you ready for deep impact? Are you ready for a biblical impact that the Bible prophesied is going to happen?"

      'Calm down' my arse. You're going to glory in the publicity as much as you can, you lying, fearmongering shitstain. Some of your brainless flock -- especially those new converts you're after -- will sell their houses and all they own before the day of doom and others will kill themselves or their children to be spared the horror. Fucking exploitative arsehole.

      Religion poisons everything.

      1. Glen 1 Silver badge

        Re: The stupids have started already

        Religion is stupid?! How dare you insult Vi EMACS nano!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The stupids have started already

          The brotherhood of Edlin would like to have a few words with you...

          1. Long John Brass Silver badge
            Devil

            Re: The stupids have started already

            TECO forever!!!!!!!!!

            1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

              Re: The stupids have started already

              Long live AINBURYS!

              1. Michael Maxwell

                Re: The stupids have started already

                So what's wrong with punch cards? If you make a mistake, you can stick it in a different slot of the card reader, and have the reader copy the old card onto a new card, up to the column where you made a mistake. At least I could on the machine I learned programming on, back in 1969. Copy-punch, we called it.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The stupids have started already

        And there you go falling for the people stirring the pot. Brilliant way to prove your not as stupid as them, by getting riled up into the fight.

        You do know the only ones benefiting from the fight are those selling the weapons? Yet think it right to fight the "other side" while the bigwigs sit there laughing at how gullible people are to get involved i the arguments?

        If you truly are less poisonous than religion, prove it by being helpful, not harmful!

        1. BigSLitleP Silver badge

          Re: The stupids have started already

          Pointing out charlatans IS helpful. Religion = snake oil

          1. James O'Shea

            Re: The stupids have started already

            Snake oil is useful. How else can people polish their pythons?

            1. David 18

              Re: The stupids have started already

              "Snake oil is useful. How else can people polish their pythons?"

              I can think of more enjoyable ways ;)

              1. Ken Shabby Bronze badge
                Happy

                Re: The stupids have started already

                Will the python go blind?

      3. regregular

        Re: The stupids have started already

        Religion is stupid?

        >Jehovahs Witness voice>

        Do you have a few minutes to spare? I'd like to come in and tell you about our savior, the flying spaghetti monster... >/Jehovahs Witness voice>

      4. Mark 85 Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: The stupids have started already

        Calm down. If Bruce Willis can't save us (where's our armor plated Space Shuttle?) then there's a couple of things to think about. The first is that the earth will be a bit less populated. Second, his target is audience isn't the most intelligent. So unless that preacher runs for President, what's the worst that can happen?

        Nicely trolled though you missed the icon. Have a beer and maybe a valium for effort.

      5. Vegemite Sandwich

        Re: The stupids have started already

        Lol, if we ever run out of all caps, we can blame the Express...

      6. asdf Silver badge

        Re: The stupids have started already

        Didn't click that link but hurt your own point posting it is the 1000 mile view. Not that hard to find garbage like that on internet so show and tell isn't really necessary.

    3. John Lilburne

      Re: Is there a scammier corporation

      Well according to this article it already has:

      it’ll be hovering above the Atlantic Ocean. Apophis is travelling at breakneck speeds

      that is quite some trick.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That date...

    *Me: Believes NASA saying it probably won't hit us...

    *Me: Goes to check what day of the week the 13th is...

    *Me: A little less inclined to believe NASA

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: That date...

      Rules for Friday 13th:

      1. Look out for black cats

      2. Don't walk under ladders

      3. Don't step on the cracks in the pavement

      4. Avoid large fast-travelling asteroids

    2. Fungus Bob Silver badge

      Re: That date...

      It will also be my 69th birthday. WooHoo!

      1. ICPurvis47 Bronze badge
        Windows

        Re: That date...

        ......and I'll be 81 (hope I last that long!).

  3. Lyle Dietz

    "due on April 13, 2029"

    Plenty of time to get the party supplies together. No need to ask for time off since it will be happening on Friday night, and if we're really (un)lucky, no need to go back to work on Monday.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Trollface

      As it's my 57th birthday the day after I guess the hangover on Sunday 15th will be apocalyptic, presuiming I get that far one way or another...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Alien

        I'm 57 now (and for the rest of this month). So I'll just be coming up for whatever's left by then of the State's benefits for oldies. Yep, a particularly likely moment to be wiped out.

        1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

          Just think of it as austerity by other means.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Assuming the age hasn't been changed again.

          1. ibmalone Silver badge

            This is the dawning of the age of austerity.

    2. storner
      Flame

      Bugger ... I was planning to retire on June 16. Might as well cash in my pension plan right away.

  4. Justin Case
    Windows

    Phorecast Accuracy - How Shore?

    Many, many times my phone has insisted that the weather I should be experiencing is sunny rather than the sodden actuality of real life.

    If we don't get a direct hit, can I at least pray for a few satellites to be taken out? Being the sort of chap who revels in the misfortunes of others I would get much glee from planes dropping out of the sky and deliveries winding up in Wokingham due to GPS failure. It the Internet were badly affected, that would be a bonus too.

    Icon: because that's my state of mind, that is.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: Phorecast Accuracy - How Shore?

      Way to get a Kessler Cascade dude.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Curious…

    Just yesterday, totally unrelatedly, I came across the sentence """Due to exaggerated press coverage of Level 1 asteroids, a rewording of the Torino Scale was published in 2005, adding more details and renaming the categories: in particular, Level 1 was changed from "Events meriting careful monitoring" to "Normal". """

    IN MICE!

  6. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    So close?

    Better take my hat off.

  7. Chris G Silver badge

    Who cares about Mad Max clothing? I want to weld spikes on my aging Landy and plop in a monster V8.

    A harem of cute Australian girls might be nice too.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Yeah, but the downside is that you have to eat dog food -- and enjoy it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      cute Australian girls ??

      Contradiction in terms, surely.

      Is that my coat over there ?

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: cute Australian girls

        As a lot of people from South East Asia are immigrating into Australia, the number of cute Australian girls is definitely on the rise.

      2. James O'Shea

        Sheila wants to have a word with you. She's bringing her pet drop bear.

        1. Jemma Silver badge

          "Tell me Hex, the safe animals in Australia?"

          A piece of paper slowly drifted out of the air.

          "Hmm, some of the sheep*..."

          *so long as they aren't really Kangaroos

          "call that a knife, no worries, this is a crossbow"

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If you want the harem, suggestion one would be ditch the Landy. I believe Porsche and Ferrari make several vehicles with the knicker elastic remote release function. The Landy is more likely to get you someone with a headscarf who possibly refers to herself as "we".

      1. Jemma Silver badge

        The Royal "We".

        Well, at least you could use the 20W50 for the landy & the lady friend.

        1. S4qFBxkFFg
          Unhappy

          Re: The Royal "We".

          I thought that was what you meant, but fool I am, googled to make sure.

        2. Scroticus Canis
          Happy

          Re: The Royal "We". - "could use the 20W50 for the landy & the lady friend"

          Nah. I'll stick with the snake oil thanks ;)

      2. Chris G Silver badge

        You would be amazed at how many girls love a LandRover with the top down.

        LandRovers are for people who do things, Porsche and Ferraris are for those who need a substitute for .....stuff.

        Being a LandRover driver I could provide valid reasons and purposes for the alternative use of knicker elastic.

        1. Jemma Silver badge

          Yeah... So can I..

          Exhaust hangers

          SU carb throttle return springs

          Alternator/dynamo belts

          I've only driven a landy once, it was terrifying, like a two tonne skateboard on black ice - although off road they are impressive. Someone in the village has a lightweight v8 one - goes like a scalded cat with a JATO pack rammed up it's arse, but has VW Thing style seats and goes airborne at practically every bump.. Would give health & safety people fits.

          I own a Wolseley landcrab.. Wonderful idea BMC putting the fuel line right down the centre of the car, millimetres away from that exhaust pipe thingy. Nice to drive - even nicer now I've finally managed to unbodge the garage bodge of putting wrong plugs in (5/6 instead of 9s) and then richening the mixture to hide the bad work..

          1. Alister Silver badge

            Re: Yeah... So can I..

            I own a Wolseley landcrab.

            Cor, very jealous, that must be exceedingly rare now. My Dad had an 1800 Landcrab back in the 70s when I was learning to drive.

            1. Jemma Silver badge

              Re: Yeah... So can I..

              Mines a 1971 - with a few special modifications. As far as know there are 8 Wolseley 18/85 II from that year still on the road. That's it.

              Fun fact. The Wolseley has the engine from the MGB and you can get a supercharger kit for the MGB.. Yes, it's been done. A 130hp Morris 1800 in Australia. They also did a 4.4 flat plane v8 prototype with longitudinal engine and transverse automatic - apparently it was great, until you came to a corner..

              Nice car to drive but too many suicidal idiots these days... For the 15th time teenage girl... I am NOT driving a bloody MINI - I don't have ABS and crumple zones happen to other people..

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Yeah... So can I..

            I have driven a landy a lot more than once. I didn't find it terrifying, possibly because I never went fast enough. I seemed to spend all my time lubricating things, tightening things and replacing things, so it was good training for later. But then cars got reliable and it all became a bit academic.

            I do want the new Jimny though. The design seems to be a small version of what the Land Rover should have become, not the current generation of electronics housings for Chinese millionaires.

            1. Alister Silver badge

              Re: Yeah... So can I..

              I've also driven a Landy - in fact many Landies - over many years, and rather than finding them terrifying, they always gave me a certain feeling of invincibility (may not be a good thing).

              Once when a eurobox decided to pull out in front of me on a fast A road, the only result on the Landy was a bent front bumper, which I unbolted and hit very hard with a big hammer until it was straight again, the eurobox, conversely, was a total write-off.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Yeah... So can I..

                I was once minding my own business at traffic lights in Taunton, where I had stopped a bit back from the line (trucks sometimes cut the corner.) A taxi driver in the next lane decided to get in front of me. He misjudged it.

                Large crease down the side of the taxi for him. 5 minutes with Nitromors getting the paint of the edge of the bumper for me.

                However, in the reverse situation last summer the driver of a seven and a half tonner decided to hit my rear bumper while I was parked. Doubtless a 5 minute paint removal job for him. A £2000 recovered insurance bill for his boss. It helps to be on the right side of the case when driving these things.

        2. David 18

          "Being a LandRover driver I could provide valid reasons and purposes for the alternative use of knicker elastic."

          Like replacing the standard knicker elastic they used for the Discovery's rear subframe?

          1. Jemma Silver badge

            Knicker elastic subframes

            And then there's that nice fibreboard cog for the oil pump drive.. Worked well, right up until it didnt

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Knicker elastic subframes

              It isn't fibreboard but, IIRC, Tufnol. Tufnol is formaldehyde urea impregnated cloth. Tufnol correctly specified and designed actually makes pretty good low power gears for things such as contact breakers. It's the correctly specified and designed bit that tends to fall down. Doesn't it, Velocette? Fortunately I was only doing 85 when the thing decided to turn to shreds, and Velocettes actually had an oil filter.

              The Japanese thought they would do better and sometimes used nylon for the oil pump gear on two strokes. After seeing what the failure of one of these could do to a 750 Kawa I got a bit obsessive about checking mine regularly.

      3. James O'Shea

        That particular person has lots of money, which can be used to attract other girls.

        She also has lots of Corgis. Perhaps they can be deployed as anti-terrorist weapons, so long as we do it quickly, before such use is banned under the Geneva Conventions.

  8. Calum Morrison

    3 football fields?

    Woudl they be Nasa-style American football fields or proper football fields?

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: 3 football fields?

      What you mean Aussie Rules Football fields? Which can also double up as cricket pitches in the summer?

      Core blimey thats a big Asteroid! :P

    2. Semtex451 Silver badge

      Re: 3 football fields?

      It's not an EL Reg Unit I recognise

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: 3 football fields?

        Isn't it 1,000,000 football fields = 1 Wales?

        1. steelpillow Silver badge

          Re: 3 football fields?

          "Isn't it 1,000,000 football fields = 1 Wales?"

          I get so confused by these newfangled non-metric units. A football field is about 0.01 whales, but I can never remember the conversion factor between whales and Wales.

          1. Swiss Anton

            Re: 3 football fields?

            I think its 1,000,000 Rugby* fields = 1 Wales.

            (* Rugby Union that is, not that stuff they play up north.)

            1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

              Re: 3 football fields?

              Big problem - the Wales is pretty clearly defined in terms of area, subject to minor differences between high and low tide. Although this may change when we ciaim 'Herefordshire' after indy.

              But the Rugby Union pitch is a variable unit. In the outmoded non-Reg units used by the real world, the Rugby Union pitch (n.b. not 'field') can be 68-70m wide by 94-100m long, so a 9.5% variation is permissible.

              I think stick to the micro-Wales, clearly defined as 20779 sq.m. or about 3 rugby pitches.

          2. Anonymous IV

            Re: 3 football fields?

            A football field is about 0.01 whales, but I can never remember the conversion factor between whales and Wales.

            The important factor is that "everybody sings in whales"!

      2. Ivan Headache

        Re: 3 football fields?

        So it's flat.

        Is it coming edge on and are the edges sharp?

        1. MonkeyBob

          Re: 3 football fields?

          And if the edges are rounded does it have to pay Apple?

          1. Ivan Headache

            Re: 3 football fields?

            Just realised.

            We should see it coming as there'll be animated illuminated adverts all round the edges.

    3. John G Imrie Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: 3 football fields?

      Asteroids have volume so football field is completely the wrong type of unit. It should be Olympic sized swimming pools.

      1. Bogle

        Re: 3 football fields?

        Clearly, we need a new ER (El Reg) unit. Commentards, to arms! Swimming pools are too ... swimmy. London buses are lengths, etc.

        The current list of units doesn't seem complete: https://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/page/reg-standards-converter.html

        In honour of our illustrious forebears, and those who were previously our Overlords, cruelly cut down by the very thing we are trying to measure, may I humbly suggest a Dippy? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dippy_(London)

        1. STOP_FORTH
          Happy

          Re: 3 football fields?

          Err, Dippy is not in London. Saw him/her in Glasgow in March.

        2. A K Stiles
          Boffin

          Re: 3 football fields?

          I thought the default unit of volume was Bulgarian "safety equipment", though it appears that volume is based on grapefruit and weight is more related to the former unit. Though shouldn't that be mass rather than weight, and what % of the MVS(v) is this thing travelling at anyway?

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 3 football fields?

          The new unit of volume will be known as....

          The Apophis...

          Now if only we had some way of determining how big wot one of them is...

      2. Unicornpiss Silver badge

        Re: 3 football fields?

        How many Bulgarian Airbags will fit in it?

      3. j.bourne

        Re: 3 football fields?

        Zeppelins would be about right?

        1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

          Re: 3 football fields?

          Yeah, but mass... lead Zeppelins.

        2. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: 3 football fields?

          Zeppelins would be about right?

          Zeppelins? Which size as recall they varied?

      4. Spherical Cow Bronze badge

        Re: 3 football fields?

        The problem with Olympic swimming pools as a unit is that the depth must be at least 2m but there is no maximum depth specified, so one Olympic swimming pool can in theory have infinite volume (but it would take forever to fill).

    4. TRT Silver badge

      Re: 3 football fields?

      3 football pitches? So, it's just a big sheet of grass then? Why is everyone so worried?

      1. Che van der Showa

        Re: 3 football fields?

        But just imagine the turf burn you'll get if it clips your knee at 30km/s.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: 3 football fields?

          Ooh! Yeah. And it's going to take more than a cup of Bold 3 to sort out that grass stain as well.

  9. dervheid
    Coat

    Do you think...

    they're going to tell the world if a rock this big WERE going to impact earth?

    Cue global panic.

    1. Nick Kew

      Re: Do you think...

      If they don't tell the world, someone else will.

      Then the conspiracy theories have more teeth.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Do you think...

        More teeth with cavities into which they can insert tracking devices smaller than a grain of rice, and receivers that can transmit subliminal signals into the jawbone.

        Yeah. True.

        's why I've smashed all my own teeth out wiv a 'ammer, innit? Dentists are in the employ of the gubermint and the NSA and the CIA and GCHQ and all them.

        1. TDog

          Re: Do you think...

          But was it a Chinese hammer?

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Do you think...

            Russian. Came in a kit: a nice red tool box along with a sharp sickle for cutting off your hair - aka antennae that are picking up the vibrations from the universe's cosmic consciousness.

        2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
          Megaphone

          Re: Do you think...

          Dentists are in the employ of the gubermint and the NSA and the CIA and GCHQ and all them.

          You've got this totally wrong! You've fallen for the Dentists' propoganda you foolish sheeple!1!1!

          The CIA, GCHQ, the NSA, the New World Order, the Illuminati and Justin Bieber are all employees of the International Dentists Conspiracy!

  10. Shadow Systems Silver badge
    Facepalm

    It's going to miss?

    <Marvin the Martian>Where's my Total Extinction Event?</cartoon pouty voice>

    1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: It's going to miss?

      <<To the tune of Money for Nothing>> I want my E L E!

    2. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
  11. Blockchain commentard Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Everyone, in your best Frazer (from Dad's Army) voice - We're doomed, doomed I tell you.

  12. What? Me worry?
    Trollface

    Save the date!

    Date booked as Out of Office, in Outlook365. Any bets on if the cloud will still be thing? ;P

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Save the date!

      Or in the worst case scenario the whole Earth could become one (of debris)...

      Are we sure this is an asteroid and not a space station?

      1. A K Stiles

        Re: Save the date!

        Well it's definitely no moon!

        1. DuncanLarge Silver badge

          Re: Save the date!

          Its a trap!

    2. Unicornpiss Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Save the date!

      "Date booked as Out of Office, in Outlook365. Any bets on if the cloud will still be thing?"

      Not sure about the cloud, but if it misses, Outlook will still randomly periodically remind you of the past event until the actual end days..

    3. arrbee

      Re: Save the date!

      If its meant to be visible from the UK then I guarantee that cloud will still be around.

  13. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge
    Mushroom

    1/4 mph

    To convert the 19000 mile miss to an impact requires a velocity change of under 1/4 mph - I hope that NASA have done their sums correctly.

    If not - how many megatons of TNT equivalent ?

    Icon for the impact ===>

    1. Nick Kew

      Re: 1/4 mph

      Do we have observational data of any such flypast?

      If gravity of a body so massive as Earth pulls those football fields apart, what happens to the pieces? Goal, or offside?

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: 1/4 mph

        Penalty shootout?

        If so then we here in England are royally screwed...

      2. Tom Paine Silver badge

        Re: 1/4 mph

        I am not an astrodynamist. However I believe the current thinking is that tidally disrupted objects gradually spread out along the approximate line of the original object's orbit. This is how asteroids and comets give rise to meteor showers. See also Shoemaker-Levy impact at Jupiter.

  14. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Hoarding?

    Before you all panic and start hoarding food, guns, and Mad Max-style clothing

    No worries, already stocked up ready for March 29th. Halloween.

    1. DuncanLarge Silver badge

      Re: Hoarding?

      Assuming we are allowed to leave on hug a Zombie day.

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: Hoarding?

        Tinned baked beans have a very long shelf life.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hoarding?

          In my case that's because the smell is so disgusting I'd probably rather be eaten by the zombies than have to eat the beans.

  15. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Hopefully the weather will be clear that day

    Might visit some friends and family in South Africa or Australia around then. Must get that airline-portable telescope kit sorted

    1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      At Michael H.F. Wilkinson, re: shipping.

      Don't take it on the plane, you can almost guarantee it'll get ruined by the Samsonite gorillas in the luggage processing areas.

      Instead do yourself a favor & ship it via a courier service. You can pack it with plenty of foam padding, insure it, & mail it to said relatives with a signature required. The courier service will be INFINITELY more careful with your stuff than any airline.

      Bonus of this is that the airline can't send it to some other part of the world due to a fat fingered routing error, can't charge you extra for wanting to take it with you, can't have fun of throwing it around like a drunk monkey on crack, and can't "lose it" to one of those gorillas with sticky fingers.

      1. Peter Mount

        Re: At Michael H.F. Wilkinson, re: shipping.

        I don't know about now but 16 years ago took a small ETX telescope with me from the UK to South Africa & back. Just packed it in the middle of the rucksack with clothes wrapped around it & it survived the trip perfectly fine.

    2. STOP_FORTH
      Mushroom

      Re: Hopefully the weather will be clear that day

      If you follow the link in the article there is a lovely animation of the flyby. The good news is that the ISS will still be around in 2029 if you believe the animation. Bad news is you don't really get a sense of where the best place to see the thing is. Can't find any useful maps online that I trust. It looks as if closest approach will be somewhere over mid-Atlantic, so I'm guessing you'd get a better view from UK than RSA, assuming you can find decent dark skies here (and no clouds!)

  16. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Named after the SG-1 villain it would seem.

  17. Richard Scratcher
    Mushroom

    What's in a name?

    If it's not that dangerous, then why give it the name Aphophis?

    "Apep (Aapep, Apepi or Apophis) was the ancient Egyptian spirit of evil, darkness and destruction. As the arch enemy of the sun god, Ra, he was a malevolent force who could never be entirely be vanquished. Every night as the sun travelled though the underworld (or across the sky) his roar would fill the air and he would launch his attack."

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
      1. Peter Mount

        Re: What's in a name?

        During one of the Apophis talks a couple of days ago the speaker started his talk with "Jaffa Kree" followed by "OK not many understood that one"

        1. DuncanLarge Silver badge

          Re: What's in a name?

          "started his talk with "Jaffa Kree" followed by "OK not many understood that one""

          What?

          Oh god now I feel old.

    2. Unicornpiss Silver badge

      Re: What's in a name?

      In Stargate, Ra wasn't such a nice guy either..

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: What's in a name?

        In Stargate, Ra wasn't such a nice guy either..

        Neither was he in the ancient Egyptian mythology, but he was still considered one of the good guys.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: What's in a name?

      Thanks for that. I was wondering if it was a near miss for apotheosis.

  18. iLurker

    It’s not done in 2029...

    You may relax in 2029 but ... it’s not done. There’s a little piece of obscure orbital mathematics called the “mirror theorem” which means the same scenario will repeat in reverse some years beyond the 2029 approach, at that date plus some multiple of the orbital periods. And the near misses will repeat until it’s whammo !

    As one who watched the impact of Shoemaker-Levy on Jupiter, there’s little doubt about there being an extinction event some time in the not so distant future.

    1. MyffyW Silver badge
      Coat

      mirror theorem

      If it's a theorem presumably the scientific community currently lack real-world observations to justify it being a law? As such, though I'll rather miss the place, at least I'll be consoled by my fiery death evidencing said theorem. And anyway I'll be getting on a bit post-2029.

      1. Def Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: mirror theorem

        Unproven mathematical theorems are called conjectures.

    2. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: It’s not done in 2029...

      There's a good chance the encounter with earth will be so close the thing is getting flung well out of it's current orbit (And possibly out of the solar system). I doubt it's going to make a close encounter again any time soon with the gravity assist it's going to receive.

    3. Symon Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: It’s not done in 2029...

      Well, it's because of Jupiter acting as the solar system's vacuum cleaner (literally!) that we're all a lot safer than we would be without it.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jupiter_Barrier

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Live every day as if it was your last.

    3634 and counting.

    1. Professor Clifton Shallot

      Re: Live every day as if it was your last.

      > Live every day as if it was your last.

      Terrible advice. Your last day is almost certainly going to be horrible, not to mention shorter than average.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Coat

        Re: Live every day as if it was your last.

        Not necessarily. If your peaceful death in your sleep contrasts sufficiently with that of your screaming passengers.

  20. DontFeedTheTrolls Silver badge
    Coat

    "Apophis is travelling at breakneck speeds, and will cross the second largest ocean in a single hour."

    Pah!, not very fast at all really. Britain built a plane that regularly crossed that ocean in three hours while serving champagne to overpaid celebrities, politicians and business executives.

    1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

      Britain built

      Ahem, "Britain and France..."

  21. tapemonkey

    Dont Panic

    Theres no need to panic even now the UASF is readying a covert team operating out of its Cheyene Mountain facility to land on Apophis.

    Once there they will generate a hyperspace window directly ahead of the astreroid and it will pass through the Earth averting a disaster.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dont Panic

      UASF? United Authors of Science Fiction?

  22. Steve Button

    Bruce Willis

    Bruce Willis will be about 74 by then, so it's still possible he'll be able to help

    1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Re: Bruce Willis

      Bah, you grabbeth my line :(

      Better put Bruce Willis on standby and extended life support so he'll be full of vim and raring to kick Apophis butt. (Or hadouken it into changing orbit away from Earth).

      And just to make sure, send Chuck Norris as well.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Bruce Willis

      Bruce Willis might not be young enough to plant a nuclear bomb if we need to break the asteroid up and have the pieces go round Earth.

      But maybe that doesn't matter. With modern plastic surgery, we can at least make him pretty enough to give the alien weapon/girl a good smooching, and persuade her to use the stones in that temple in Egypt to stop the asteroid in its tracks.

  23. A.P. Veening Silver badge

    Time enough

    Let's face it, it can't be allowed to interfere with Brexit, which is scheduled for sometime in the year 2525, judging by the speed of current proceedings.

    1. Siberian Hamster

      Re: Time enough

      I have the inkling that there's a new internet law occurring...

      As the length of a comments section increases the probability that someone states that the problem/issue is due to or can be fixed by Brexit tends to 1.

      In deference to my favourite author I propose it is termed the PTerry Law.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Time enough

      Exordium and Terminus?

    3. timrowledge

      Re: Time enough

      If Man is still alive, if Woman can survive?

  24. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Two issues

    One: the warning of avalanches appears to mean avalanches ON APOPHIS. Anyone there reading this web site, get ready. That goes for "changing axis of rotation", too.

    Two: "human satellites". That doesn't sound good actually. Are you predicting that the UK space industry WILL get going but will be mainly to expel illegal immigrants, upwards?

  25. spold Bronze badge

    Woo yay!

    666 42 Apocalypse???

    I don't have to worry about global warming anymore! We have efficiently compressed it into a single short event.

    And in an attempt to get this back to IT time to dust of that Business Continuity Plan - the probability of big humongous planetary fuck event just went up. Buy shares in that new Mars cloud computing service....

  26. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    "... three football fields ... "

    Association, rugby or septic?

  27. adam 40 Bronze badge
    Mushroom

    I think we should nuke it

    Just for shits and giggles....

  28. devTrail Bronze badge

    Landing robots

    Rosetta and Hayabusa missions added to the costs the fact that they had to carry a lot of heavy equipment for large distances. The weight taken by the fuel forced the planners to slim down the instruments. This is a huge opportunity to land sizable robots with adequate solar panels and a lot of instruments on an asteroid.

    1. Wellyboot Silver badge

      Re: Landing robots

      Given how close this will be when it passes it seems perfectly feasible to litter the surface with science experiments. One Falcon-heavy could put literally tonnes of landers in proximity & offer Dragon joyrides for a close up view.

      1. devTrail Bronze badge

        Re: Landing robots

        I see you never miss an opportunity for some publicity or personality cult.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Landing robots

      It's velocity that matters, much more than distance. If you want to land on this thing, you've got to match velocities with it. Which means carrying all that fuel and engine mass anyway.

      Most of the probes we send out get up to speed in a relatively short burn to achieve Earth escape velocity, plus a bit - then coast for a few years to get to their target with most of their instruments turned off. In the case of a nearby object you don't need the coast phase, but you still need the velocity.

      Well I suppose it does depend on your definition of "landing". How soft do you want your probe's impact to be? Instrument-survivable, or will 50,000kph do?

      1. devTrail Bronze badge

        Re: Landing robots

        What about using the earth as a slingshot? The probe could take up speed and approach the asteroid shortly after it passed by.

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: Landing robots

          What about using the earth as a slingshot?

          Won't work as it will start way too close to earth. A lunar slingshot might work and if everything works out with the position of the moon at that time, the probe could pick up some more speed with an earth slingshot when coming back from the moon, but I'll leave the calculations for the (in)possibility of that to the specialists.

      2. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: Landing robots

        How about 3 or more probes with a really large net spread between them?

    3. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Landing robots

      "This is a huge opportunity to land sizable robots with adequate solar panels and a lot of instruments on an asteroid"

      For some reason I'm imagining a sun lounger going up there. (Is it going that way?)

  29. Natalie Gritpants Jr

    Nice though it is for scientists

    I do think we ought to attempt to destroy/divert it shortly after it has passed us. Our failure will be very helpful for future events.

    1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

      Re: Nice though it is for scientists

      Yes, I can see it going soooo well:

      "You know, that asteroid that flew by and totally missed the Earth? Well, we decided to have a bit of fun and change its trajectory, but we've had kind of a mishap. Now it's hurtling back straight at us... But we've learnt so much from this cockup, you just wouldn't believe!"

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just a thought, but howabout we dont send too many heavy objects into close orbit / impact trajectories until after its gone past ?

  31. Tom Paine Silver badge

    Oh no!

    What have I got to look forward to now?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Go

      Re: Oh no!

      Pretty fireworks?

      If you start to see green shooting stars, it's time too late to stock up on weedkiller...

  32. DCFusor Silver badge
    Joke

    NASA

    Jim Bridenstine said we should expect some sort of hit in our lifetimes....

    Kind of vague since there are plenty of really old people around.

    But no fear - an insightful comment on Slashdot mentioned that if it's really a big hit, it's guaranteed to come right at the end of your life anyway.

    No coat, it's Springtime now.

    1. devTrail Bronze badge

      Re: NASA

      You are underestimating the survival capabilities and the adaptability of the descendants of those little animals that survived the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs.

      1. General Purpose

        Re: NASA

        Some small dinosaurs survived - we call them "birds". Likewise some small mammals might survive another major strike. Humans, of course, are among the largest mammals on the planet at present.

        1. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

          Re: NASA

          On a scale from the shrew to the blue whale, I wouldn't put humans among the largest mammals. Average, at best.

          1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

            Re: NASA

            On a scale from the shrew to the blue whale, I wouldn't put humans among the largest mammals. Average, at best.

            The correct way to do it, is to line up all species of mammals and take the median. Everything larger than a small fox belongs to the large mammals/animals which will go extinct with the next huge impact.

          2. General Purpose

            Re: NASA

            Even if you only count primates, humans are the second largest. For every mammal larger than humans, you' can find dozens smaller.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: NASA

          If your point is that, as large mammals, humans would be wiped out by a Chicxulub-like collision, I'm not convinced. Humans are currently spread all around the globe, able to withstand a large range of temperatures and inhospitable conditions and generally quite adaptable. Even if 95% of the human race was destroyed, I'm pretty sure you'd see societies rebuilt within a few decades.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: NASA

            In which case we're doomed !

          2. General Purpose

            Re: NASA

            Humans might survive, sure, but not by virtue of being descended from survivors. We wouldn't repeat the strategies that allowed small mammals to survive Chicxulub.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Like with the "predictions" surrounding the recent US eclipse it wont be long before some nutter claims that this

    is a doomsday rock predicted in some holy book. They will post a video to youtube that will be pasted aroudneverywhere and

    they will then sell you all the stuff you need to protect yourself from shelters to guns and some magical tablet that gives you

    immunity to all known pathogens.

    10 years is also plenty of time for any number of cults to set themselves up for a mass suicide believing that this is acutally

    the incoming alien spaceship they have been expecting to carry themselves away.

    I've put the date in my calendar. Hopefully when I wake up the next day I discover that the calculations were not incorrect and we are still here,

    eating breakfast while watching all the crazy stuff about the dead cult members on the news.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Trollface

      Cult-like behaviour... Magical tablet to protect you from evil...

      Are you talking about the iPad?

    2. Aladdin Sane Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Downvoted just because the line breaks made that painful to read.

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Down voted as you missed this comment from much earlier: https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/3773011

  34. Rasslin ' in the mud
    Facepalm

    An important question

    Who calculated the near miss distance?

    https://spacemath.gsfc.nasa.gov/weekly/6Page53.pdf

  35. Jacob's Elevator

    "WE REGRET ..."

    Which in 2-words, alone, goes to show that 'El-Reg' , another hint, has turned to, or has always been an anti-human, aka pro tech-head, NIHILIST platform.

    I don't much care for 'El-reg's turn of attitude, as reflected recently in language.

    And your best-case scenario, as your readers wither away, is to be found in the advice:

    "When you cynically become that which you are parodying, you're in trouble."

    Hey! Look! I'm in your face. I studied Math, Physics, Computer-science

    I work in Electronics, DC- thru microwaves, to this day. Every-day.

    I studied a software-dev degree at age of 49 or so, in 2004/5. I have learned to not only stand-up for myself but also for my species. Well enough said. You may all be just sitting there playing with yourselves and your consoles; - 'having a laugh'.

    Go push a button!

    How d'ya like them apples!?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Has amanfrommars had a software "upgrade" recently?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I don't think so. amanfrommars kind-of makes sense but in such convoluted language and with such strange analogies that he reminds me of Finnegans Wake.

        This one seems just to be an American Exceptionalist who needs to tell us how many degrees he has. Personally, like Prince Charles, I thought three was quite enough.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I just checked the weather for April 13, 2029 ...

    Bloody cloudy with 80% chance of rain in the UK. Typical.

  37. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

    I'm expecting a Lucifer's Hammer scenario. Better stock up now!

  38. Martin
    IT Angle

    It was first discovered in 2004 by a team of astronomers working at the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona, United States.

    They only managed to observe it for two days, however, due to technical problems and poor weather conditions. The faraway visitor remained lost to astronomers until another group at the Siding Spring Observatory, Australia, caught a glimpse of it.

    This time they were able to piece together its trajectory.

    How do they know that these two were the same lump of rock, given they couldn't work out it's trajectory until they saw it the second time?

    (We really need a "?" icon for when you're actually asking a question.)

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Trajectory

      How do they know that these two were the same lump of rock, given they couldn't work out it's trajectory until they saw it the second time?

      Once the trajectory was known, it become possible to calculate it backwards as well and found it coincided with the previous observation.

    2. Jonathan Richards 1
      Boffin

      <|<|

      Probably by taking the calculated orbital parameters and running the clock backwards to calculate where Apophis had been. Oh, look, it was that one!

      1. Martin

        Re: <|<|

        Thanks to both of you. Should have thought of that, really.

        But what's with the person who downoted the question? It wasn't THAT stupid a question, and it was asked in good faith.

  39. Roj Blake Silver badge

    Weather Forecast

    It will be cloudy in the UK.

  40. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    Asteroid Crater Size vs Mean Time Between Impact

    https://www.researchgate.net/figure/A-An-inverted-cumulative-distribution-curve-showing-the-mean-time-between-impacts-from_fig16_222658791

    Millions of years between anything significant, supposedly.

    But I'd still like to recommend a nice lunch on Tuesdays, as well as on Fridays. You know, just in case...

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