Landsat / Copernicus / Google Earth / Department of Geography
The huge asteroid is in terrible orbit and has a 1% chance of hitting Earth in just eight years. And, thank God, it does not really exist.
It's a fictional asteroid designed to provide a realistic exercise for scientists and engineers from all over the world attending the Planetary Defense Conference 2019 outside of Washington, DC
A true asteroid of this size, he could ever hit the planet, wipe out an entire city.
"This is a threat that can happen, although it is extremely unlikely," says Paul Chodas, director of NASA's Jet Impulsion Laboratory Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, who created this realistic simulation. "Our goal is to go through all the steps we need to go through."
He says that much has been learned from officials at NASA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency from three previous exercises at past international conferences and other asteroid exercises conducted separately.
This time the asteroid is as if it were about 300 to 1,000 feet wide, and was discovered about 35 million miles away. What is known about the fake trajectory suggests that the chance of hitting our planet in 2027 is met with a 1 percent probability.
On the website of the imaginary "Asteroid 2019 PDC", "NASA" warns that it does not describe any real potential asteroid impact. "
Chodas deliberately designed this alleged threat to emphasize the international decision-making system at this conference in College Park, Md., Where experts meet daily to discuss new information that Chodas gives them from his prepared script. [19659008"Theasteroidisnotinafavorableorbitatall"hesays"It'snotlikeoneofthoseasteroidswegotowithoursciencemissionswhereyoucanpickaniceasteroidyoucaneasilyreachIntheplanetarydefensetheasteroidhitsyou"
And although there is enough time to prepare for eight years, Chodas says that this is a truly challenging schedule, as experts want to do several missions to the alleged asteroid to gather information.
"They do not even really know if they will hit Earth, and because the schedule is tight, you need to start preparing to study the asteroid," he explains. "They do not really know the size, and the size is an important parameter. Therefore, you must first conduct reconnaissance missions. "
Asteroid experts must make decisions about how to try to distract the asteroid by pushing it with a spaceship, or perhaps even detonating a nuclear weapon – if those efforts fail and it still stops As Earth is heading, emergency managers would have to consider mass evacuation of the attack zone.
In real life, asteroid hunters have discovered almost all the really large space rocks that could potentially lead to a space-ravaging global disaster, says Chodas.
"This Part of the danger was addressed, "he says." We've discovered almost all of the really big asteroids. "
But asteroids that are as big as the wrong one in this exercise are more numerous and more likely to hit Earth (though tens of thousands of years between impacts).  "The majority of the population" of the smaller asteroids, says Chodas, "still has to be found."
Last year, the federal government released an action plan setting out steps to take over the next decade to become better to prepare for these types of threats with low probability and high consistency.