What would we do if we knew that an asteroid in 2027 would hit Earth ? This will be researched by NASA staff in a simulation that takes place next week.
The project will be conducted as a table exercise during the 2019 Planetary Defense Conference in College Park, Maryland. NASA asteroid experts have prepared a fictional scenario in which scientists identify an asteroid that seems likely to plunge to Earth in 2027 . They will discuss how they can determine which regions are exposed to which risks and how they should respond, hoping that if they face a similar situation in real life, they are ready.
"These exercises really helped us in the planetary defense community to understand what our colleagues in disaster management need to know," said Lindley Johnson, NASA's Planetary Defense Officer, in a statement . "This exercise will help us develop more effective communication with each other and with our governments."
You can follow the Planetary Defense Conference live here on Monday, April 29, at 8:00 am EDT (1
See also: How NASA's 2017 NASA Defend Earth Asteroid Helps
The exercise is part of a larger program that has been developed for the purposes of National Strategy and of the Plan of Action for Near-Earth Object Preparation, a guide prepared by the White House .
During the conference, the assembled asteroid experts, emergency management personnel, and others will receive more and more detailed information about the hypothetical risk later in the week.
The first information the team will be working with is already available : On March 26, 2018 asteroid PDC was apparently discovered to be an orbit within 0.05 astronomical units (the average distance of the earth to the sun) of the earth. And if the systems of NASA and the European Space Agency work on this orbit, both agencies suggest that space rock could theoretically intersect with Earth on April 29, 2027, eight years after the conference began.
The preparatory documents end with all hypothetical data collected until April 29, 2019. Then our chances look worse. Calculations currently give the fictional rock a 1% chance of hitting our planet.
And from there – well, we'll have to wait and see what happens next. Space.com will attend the conference. Stay up to date on how humanity is confronted with this fictitious existential threat.
Mail to Meghan Bartels at firstname.lastname@example.org @ Meghanbartels . Follow us on Twitter @SpaceTotcom and on Facebook .