In 2029 and 2036, the asteroid Apophis (named after the Egyptian god of darkness and the void), at least 1,100 feet in diameter, 90 stories tall, and weighing an estimated 25 million tons, will make two close passes by Earth at a distance of about 22,600 miles.What to do if it or another comet heads directly to us? Gregory L. Matloff, a physics professor at New York City College of Technology (City Tech), recommends we hit it with a laser beam:
"A beam that penetrates too deeply would simply heat an asteroid but a beam that penetrates just the right amount - perhaps about a tenth of a millimeter - would create a steerable jet and achieve the purpose of deflecting the asteroid," said Matloff.Is this not Star Wars? Lasers save the day? The evil Apophis is zapped like the Death Star? Speaking of Star Wars, something which I have not done in awhile, some scientists believe a Death Star exists beyond the Oort cloud.
The Oort cloud is a sphere of comets that surrounds our solar system. These comets are chunks of ice that were cleared out of the solar system during its formation. For millions and millions of years, this ice is frozen in space. It sits out there doing nothing, harming nothing. Then something bad happens (bad for us, that is): The Death Star passes near the Oort cloud, dislodges some of the ice, and flings it to the core of the solar system. This Death Star, the evil twin of our Life Star, the sun, makes this pass about every 27 million years. And every 27 million years, something from the sky strikes the earth and destroys a terrifically high percentage of life. The Death Star is also called the Nemesis star.