Asteroid twice the size of pyramids heading near Earth at end of year

Dec 06, 2021 | 🚀 Fathership
A massive asteroid nearly twice the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza is heading towards Earth's orbit in late December, according to NASA's asteroid tracker, though it is unlikely to strike the planet.

Known as 2017 AE3, the asteroid has an estimated diameter ranging between 120 meters and 260 meters. For comparison, at its maximum estimated size, it would be near twice the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt and is around 1.15 times the height of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.

Heading for the planet's orbit on December 29, in the last major asteroid flyby of 2021, the asteroid will pass by the Earth at a distance of around 354 million kilometers. For comparison, the distance between the Earth and the Moon is around 384,000 kilometers, so 2017 AE3 will still pass by at a safe distance.

If the Earth wasn't located in 2017 AE3's path, the result could be disasterous.

Energy released by asteroid a thousand times greater than the first atomic bomb

According to NASA, any asteroid 140 meters in diameter or larger could have a potentially catastrophic impact if it crashed into Earth.

According to research from the Davidson Institute of Science, the educational arm of Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science, an asteroid over 140 meters in size would release an amount of energy at least a thousand times greater than the energy released by the first atomic bomb if it impacted Earth.

Something even larger – over 300 meters wide like the asteroid Apophis – could destroy an entire continent. And an asteroid over a kilometer in size could trigger worldwide cataclysms. <

Last major asteroid impact in 1908

The last time an asteroid struck the planet was in 2013 in Russia when a 17-meter asteroid exploded in the atmosphere.

The last impact from an asteroid this big was in 1908 above the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in Russia, in what has now become known as the Tunguska event.

When the asteroid exploded in the air several kilometers above the area, it produced a massive 12 megaton explosion, causing widespread destruction for thousands of kilometers. That would make it about 800 times more powerful than "Little Boy," the approximately 15-kiloton atomic bomb detonated during World War II over Hiroshima, and 600 times more than "Fat Man," the 20-kiloton one detonated over Nagasaki three days later.

The death toll from the Tunguska event was extremely low, however, with only around three people thought to have been killed in it, due to how remote and sparsely populated the region was. But the damage was still evident, with about 80 million trees completely flattened, winds of around 27 km., a second bursting around and a loud noise heard far and wide. Tremors and airwaves were felt as far away as even Washington and Indonesia.

The few eyewitness accounts that do exist recounted the terrifying explosion, strong winds, tremors and incredibly loud noises.

The Tunguska event is the largest in recorded history – though larger prehistoric ones happened – and is one of the largest explosions ever recorded, far more powerful than many nuclear bombs.

And an impact by 2017 AE3 would likely be far more devastating.

Stopping the impact of future asteroids

The destructive nature of asteroids, even small ones, is something well-known to experts, with space agencies around the world monitoring for potential catastrophic impacts, as well as researching potential means of stopping them.

One method for possibly stopping the impact of an asteroid is through the use of deflection, which would mean launching something to slightly alter its path. The most prominent of these efforts is the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Mission currently underway, the result of efforts by NASA and the Applied Physics Laboratory.

This would be the equivalent of punching an asteroid with a rocket with enough speed to change its direction by a fraction of a percent.

The DART Mission is humanity's first real attempt at testing a defense against an asteroid impact and was launched towards the Didymos binary asteroid system.

But asteroids routinely flying near Earth's orbit is also a benefit, as they present ideal opportunities for exploration and, in the future, exploitation by mining.

Many asteroids are teeming with valuable minerals like iron, nickel and more. As such, they represent ideal targets for mining, something that until now has been one of the most severe sources of pollution and environmental destruction on Earth.

Leong Mun Wai pulled a 'Raeesah Khan' in Parliament on Telegram hearsay

Jan 13, 2022 | 🚀 Fathership
On Tuesday (Jan 11), Progress Singapore Party (PSP) member Leong Mun Wai claimed that he received feedback from residents, "that some teachers have already practised vaccination diferentiated safe management measures in schools".

When asked by Education Minister Chan Chun Sing to name the schools and teachers involved, Leong backpedalled and said that the feedback was through Whatsapp and that he would need to ask 'his' residents before making a clarification. He later disclosed that the feedback originated from a Telegram group called SG Concerned Parents.

After a terse exchange between Chan and Speaker of the House Tan Chuan Jin, Leong admitted that the chat group messages did not name any particular schools.



Indranee: When you make allegations against teachers and just cast it out there, you must be able to substantiate it

Leong's response drew a rebuke from Leader of the House Indranee Rajah who admonished Leong for making unsubstantiated claims.

Indranee rose and said: "When you make allegations against teachers and just cast it out there, you must be able to substantiate it. And that is why Minister Chan (had) asked, ‘Please provide me with the details of which school and which teacher so that the Ministry of Education can follow up'.”

She described Leong’s explanation on Tuesday as an attempt to “grandstand” or make broad speeches that have no bearing on the details requested by the Education Minister.

Leong Mun Wai another Raeesah Khan?

In August last year, Raeesah shared an anecdote in Parliament about details of a rape case she alleged was mishandled by the police. She later admitted to lying about the anecdote.

In 2014, Workers' Party MP Faisal Manap also made an unsubstantiated claim alleging that when he was a counsellor, he came across a couple who were having housing issues and advised to file for a divorce by the Housing and Development Board — so that the wife would be eligible to buy a house under the Singles Scheme and she could subsequently remarry her husband.

He later apologised for not verifying the authenticity of his anecdote.