Is it Apocalypse 2016? According to reports, NASA has been preparing for an asteroid strike on Los Angeles. Other government agencies like the Federal Emergency Management Agency have also been getting ready for the 330-foot asteroid, which is expected to have a devastating effect on the planet.
NASA and FEMA reportedly performed a planetary protection exercise in October. According to the projected simulation, the asteroid is going to hit in 2020. The strike will require a mass evacuation process in the region. It will also kill tens of thousands of people across a 30-mile area.
While speculations are high about Apocalypse 2016, Paul Chodas has said there are 659 asteroids which may strike the planet. According to the manager of NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, none of those poses a significant threat in the next hundred years.
"Either because the probabilities are extraordinarily small, or the asteroids themselves are extremely small," Chodas said. "Nevertheless, we must continue searching for asteroids in case there is one that is heading our way."
The last statement from the expert confirms that everything is uncertain, as there may be a killer asteroid heading toward the planet, and scientists have no clue about it. The Center for Near-Earth Object Studies uses a number of telescopes to watch the sky. It tracks hazardous objects in space that may come dangerously close to the planet. Such objects are left over during the formation of planets.
According to Chodas, one simple way to deflect an asteroid coming toward earth is by sending a large spacecraft to ram into the asteroid. He says it should be done years before the asteroid is supposed to hit the planet. The New York Times reported that it could take around two years to build such a large spacecraft for a "deflection mission."
Meanwhile, it is yet to confirm whether Apocalypse 2016 becomes a reality or not. But, scientists are more interested in near-Earth objects more than ever. On Nov. 14, space planners and scientists launched a campaign to know more about NEOs. The plan is to be ready in case an asteroid strikes the planet, Earth Sky reported.