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Pistols made from a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite could fetch $1.5M at auction

Two pistols made from a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite could fetch $1.5 million when they are auctioned later this month.

Constructed from part of the Muonionalusta Meteorite, which was discovered in Sweden in 1906, the working .45 caliber pistols offer an unusual take on the classic 1911 handgun design. Experts believe that the meteorite slammed into Earth about 1 million years ago, although the meteorite itself is thought to date back some 4.5 billion years.

Dallas-based auction house Heritage Auctions will be selling the pistols, either individually or as a set, at an auction on July 20.

NASA EYES GIANT ‘METEORITE’ CRATER BENEATH GREENLAND’S ICE

“The majority of the metal in these guns is meteorite,” Craig Kissick, director of science and nature at Heritage Auctions, told Fox News, noting that the pre-sale estimate for the set is $1 million to $1.5 million.

Westlake Legal Group MeteoritePistols Pistols made from a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite could fetch $1.5M at auction James Rogers fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/tech/topics/innovation fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox-news/politics/defense/armed-forces fox news fnc/tech fnc article 90f6fbbe-71cb-5718-a521-9e56dea71c9a

The pistols are made from a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite. (Heritage Auctions)

Individually, the pre-sale estimate for each handgun starts at $500,000.

Kissick explained that the pistols are modeled after the famous Colt 1911 pistol, noting that the M1911 was the preferred handgun of the U.S. military from 1911 through 1968. “It really has no peer in terms of being the classic American handgun,” he said.

WATCH STUNNING METEOR LIGHT UP THE NIGHT SKY IN AUSTRALIA

The right-handed pistols are not identical. One is a GI model and the other is custom model, according to Heritage Auctions.

Westlake Legal Group MeteoritePistol2 Pistols made from a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite could fetch $1.5M at auction James Rogers fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/tech/topics/innovation fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox-news/politics/defense/armed-forces fox news fnc/tech fnc article 90f6fbbe-71cb-5718-a521-9e56dea71c9a

One of the pistols fashioned from meteorite. (Heritage Auctions)

Constructing a gun out of meteorite was a new experience for gunsmith Lou Biondo of Business End Customs, who was commissioned to build the unusual weapons. “The client was referred to me by somebody else – I have never worked with this material before, so it was something that intrigued me,” he told Fox News. “I was supplied with the raw material that looked like a rock – it was something very, very cool.”

Biondo explained that he had to be extremely careful when he was cutting through the chunk of meteorite. “It was definitely one of those jobs where you had to go by feel and sound,” he said. “If you mix carbon steel, aluminum, stainless steel and throw in some diamonds, that’s what it felt like.”

3 MILLION-YEAR-OLD COMET PIECE FOUND INSIDE A METEORITE, COULD CONTAIN BUILDING BLOCKS OF LIFE

The gunsmith added that, while there are no actual diamonds in the meteorite, there are “diamond-like inclusions,” in the material the guns were fashioned from. While the cutter went through some parts of the meteorite fairly easily, there were other parts that were more difficult. “I actually broke a couple of cutters,” he told Fox News.

Westlake Legal Group MeteoriteBusinessEndCustoms Pistols made from a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite could fetch $1.5M at auction James Rogers fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/tech/topics/innovation fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox-news/politics/defense/armed-forces fox news fnc/tech fnc article 90f6fbbe-71cb-5718-a521-9e56dea71c9a

Gunsmith Business End Customs created the unusual handguns from meteorite. (Photo by Lou Biondo, Business End Customs)

The unusual weapons have already been test-fired. “I had to make sure that these guys actually work, as a safety aspect,” Biondo said. “I test-fired both pistols and they were fun to shoot, but knowing the price tag, I stopped!”

The pistols have fired 35 rounds each, according to Heritage Auctions.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

July 20 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. 

Westlake Legal Group MeteroiteBusinessEndCustoms2 Pistols made from a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite could fetch $1.5M at auction James Rogers fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/tech/topics/innovation fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox-news/politics/defense/armed-forces fox news fnc/tech fnc article 90f6fbbe-71cb-5718-a521-9e56dea71c9a

One of the pistols during construction. (Photo by Lou Biondo, Business End Customs (Photo by Lou Biondo, Business End Customs))

A number of meteorite fragments will also be offered by Heritage Auctions in their Nature and Science auction on July 20.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

Westlake Legal Group MeteoritePistols Pistols made from a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite could fetch $1.5M at auction James Rogers fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/tech/topics/innovation fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox-news/politics/defense/armed-forces fox news fnc/tech fnc article 90f6fbbe-71cb-5718-a521-9e56dea71c9a   Westlake Legal Group MeteoritePistols Pistols made from a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite could fetch $1.5M at auction James Rogers fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/tech/topics/innovation fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox-news/politics/defense/armed-forces fox news fnc/tech fnc article 90f6fbbe-71cb-5718-a521-9e56dea71c9a

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Pistols made from a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite could fetch $1.5M at auction

Two pistols made from a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite could fetch $1.5 million when they are auctioned later this month.

Constructed from part of the Muonionalusta Meteorite, which was discovered in Sweden in 1906, the working .45 caliber pistols offer an unusual take on the classic 1911 handgun design. Experts believe that the meteorite slammed into Earth about 1 million years ago, although the meteorite itself is thought to date back some 4.5 billion years.

Dallas-based auction house Heritage Auctions will be selling the pistols, either individually or as a set, at an auction on July 20.

NASA EYES GIANT ‘METEORITE’ CRATER BENEATH GREENLAND’S ICE

“The majority of the metal in these guns is meteorite,” Craig Kissick, director of science and nature at Heritage Auctions, told Fox News, noting that the pre-sale estimate for the set is $1 million to $1.5 million.

Westlake Legal Group MeteoritePistols Pistols made from a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite could fetch $1.5M at auction James Rogers fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/tech/topics/innovation fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox-news/politics/defense/armed-forces fox news fnc/tech fnc article 90f6fbbe-71cb-5718-a521-9e56dea71c9a

The pistols are made from a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite. (Heritage Auctions)

Individually, the pre-sale estimate for each handgun starts at $500,000.

Kissick explained that the pistols are modeled after the famous Colt 1911 pistol, noting that the M1911 was the preferred handgun of the U.S. military from 1911 through 1968. “It really has no peer in terms of being the classic American handgun,” he said.

WATCH STUNNING METEOR LIGHT UP THE NIGHT SKY IN AUSTRALIA

The right-handed pistols are not identical. One is a GI model and the other is custom model, according to Heritage Auctions.

Westlake Legal Group MeteoritePistol2 Pistols made from a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite could fetch $1.5M at auction James Rogers fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/tech/topics/innovation fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox-news/politics/defense/armed-forces fox news fnc/tech fnc article 90f6fbbe-71cb-5718-a521-9e56dea71c9a

One of the pistols fashioned from meteorite. (Heritage Auctions)

Constructing a gun out of meteorite was a new experience for gunsmith Lou Biondo of Business End Customs, who was commissioned to build the unusual weapons. “The client was referred to me by somebody else – I have never worked with this material before, so it was something that intrigued me,” he told Fox News. “I was supplied with the raw material that looked like a rock – it was something very, very cool.”

Biondo explained that he had to be extremely careful when he was cutting through the chunk of meteorite. “It was definitely one of those jobs where you had to go by feel and sound,” he said. “If you mix carbon steel, aluminum, stainless steel and throw in some diamonds, that’s what it felt like.”

3 MILLION-YEAR-OLD COMET PIECE FOUND INSIDE A METEORITE, COULD CONTAIN BUILDING BLOCKS OF LIFE

The gunsmith added that, while there are no actual diamonds in the meteorite, there are “diamond-like inclusions,” in the material the guns were fashioned from. While the cutter went through some parts of the meteorite fairly easily, there were other parts that were more difficult. “I actually broke a couple of cutters,” he told Fox News.

Westlake Legal Group MeteoriteBusinessEndCustoms Pistols made from a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite could fetch $1.5M at auction James Rogers fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/tech/topics/innovation fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox-news/politics/defense/armed-forces fox news fnc/tech fnc article 90f6fbbe-71cb-5718-a521-9e56dea71c9a

Gunsmith Business End Customs created the unusual handguns from meteorite. (Photo by Lou Biondo, Business End Customs)

The unusual weapons have already been test-fired. “I had to make sure that these guys actually work, as a safety aspect,” Biondo said. “I test-fired both pistols and they were fun to shoot, but knowing the price tag, I stopped!”

The pistols have fired 35 rounds each, according to Heritage Auctions.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

July 20 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. 

Westlake Legal Group MeteroiteBusinessEndCustoms2 Pistols made from a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite could fetch $1.5M at auction James Rogers fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/tech/topics/innovation fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox-news/politics/defense/armed-forces fox news fnc/tech fnc article 90f6fbbe-71cb-5718-a521-9e56dea71c9a

One of the pistols during construction. (Photo by Lou Biondo, Business End Customs (Photo by Lou Biondo, Business End Customs))

A number of meteorite fragments will also be offered by Heritage Auctions in their Nature and Science auction on July 20.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

Westlake Legal Group MeteoritePistols Pistols made from a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite could fetch $1.5M at auction James Rogers fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/tech/topics/innovation fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox-news/politics/defense/armed-forces fox news fnc/tech fnc article 90f6fbbe-71cb-5718-a521-9e56dea71c9a   Westlake Legal Group MeteoritePistols Pistols made from a 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite could fetch $1.5M at auction James Rogers fox-news/us/personal-freedoms/proud-american fox-news/tech/topics/innovation fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox-news/politics/defense/armed-forces fox news fnc/tech fnc article 90f6fbbe-71cb-5718-a521-9e56dea71c9a

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

NASA headed towards giant golden asteroid that could make everyone on Earth a billionaire

NASA is eyeing up a nearby asteroid that contains enough gold to make everyone on Earth a billionaire.

Psyche 16 is nestled between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter and is made of solid metal.

As well as gold, the mysterious object is loaded with heaps of platinum, iron and nickel.

CLICK ON THE SUN FOR MORE

In total, it’s estimated that Psyche’s various metals are worth a gargantuan $10,000 quadrillion.

That means if we carried it back to Earth, it would destroy commodity prices and cause the world’s economy – worth $75.5 trillion – to collapse.

We’ve known about Psyche 16 for a while, but its potential to cause havoc on Earth was recently touched upon by a veteran miner.

Scott Moore, who heads up EuroSun Mining, said the sheer amount of gold in the asteroid threatens to throw the gold industry into chaos.

“The ‘Titans of Gold’ now control hundreds of the best-producing properties around the world,” he told Oil Price.

“But the 4-5 million ounces of gold they bring to the market every year pales in comparison to the conquests available in space.”

Nasa is launching a mission to probe the asteroid in summer 2022. Dubbed the Discovery Mission, it will arrive at Psyche 16 around 2026.

But bringing back an asteroid of this value could completely wipe out our global economy.

Fortunately, the space agency is taking the trip for scientific purposes and isn’t planning on conducting any mining.

It reckons 16 Psyche is a survivor of violent hit-and-run collisions between planets which were common when the solar system was forming.

That means it could tell us how Earth’s core and the cores of the other terrestrial planets were formed.

Two space mining companies – backed by big name celebs – are gearing up for a gold rush after asteroid ownership was made legal in 2015.

Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources each have their eyes on the 2011 UW158 asteroid which is twice the size of the Tower of London and worth up to $5.7 trillion.

This story originally appeared in The Sun.

Westlake Legal Group pysche-16-nasa NASA headed towards giant golden asteroid that could make everyone on Earth a billionaire The Sun Senior Digital Technology and Science Reporter Harry Pettit fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fnc/science fnc article 04fdd24f-812d-5844-aea6-b7adb03beee0   Westlake Legal Group pysche-16-nasa NASA headed towards giant golden asteroid that could make everyone on Earth a billionaire The Sun Senior Digital Technology and Science Reporter Harry Pettit fox-news/science/air-and-space/nasa fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fnc/science fnc article 04fdd24f-812d-5844-aea6-b7adb03beee0

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Triple-threat ‘comet interceptor’ could explore an undiscovered space object

A new mission will intercept an undiscovered comet en route to Earth’s orbit, the first of its kind to observe a pristine interstellar object as it enters the inner solar system.

Three spacecraft will capture snapshots of the comet from different angles, creating a 3D profile of the object and characterizing its surface, composition, shape and structure.

The “Comet Interceptor” was selected by the European Space Agency (ESA) on June 19 as the latest “fast” or F-class mission — in reference to its quick implementation. The mission’s proposal was submitted to ESA in March, and it is scheduled to launch in 2028.

Related: Best Close Encounters of the Comet Kind

“Pristine or dynamically new comets are entirely uncharted,” Günther Hasinger, ESA’s director of science, said in a statement. “[They] make compelling targets for close-range spacecraft exploration to better understand the diversity and evolution of comets.”

Previous ESA missions to study comets, such as Giotto and Rosetta, have observed short-period comets that have approached the sun several times in recent history and therefore have undergone significant observable changes, according to the statement. Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which the Rosetta spacecraft orbited from 2014 to 2016, swings by the sun every 6.5 years. And in 1986, the Giotto spacecraft flew by Halley’s Comet, which has an orbital period of 76 years.

This mission is unique in that it will observe a comet that has not yet interacted with the solar wind environment — and it will launch before its target has been discovered. By observing a pristine comet as it enters the solar system, it can provide information on the evolution of comets as the undiscovered comet will likely contain material that has not yet been altered since the birth of the solar system, the statement added.

Related: Living on a Comet: ‘Dirty Snowball’ Facts Explained (Infographic)

In the past, it was difficult to implement this sort of mission. The time frame between discovering a pristine comet and being able to launch a spacecraft to intercept its journey was typically less than a year — too short to prepare and launch a mission. However, recent advances in observational surveys have allowed the discovery of comets while they are much farther away, according to the mission’s website.

Comet Interceptor will hitch a ride to space on ESA’s Ariel exoplanet-hunting mission, which is expected to launch in 2028. Both missions will go to the sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point, which is located about 1 million miles (1.5 million kilometers) away from Earth on the opposite side as the sun. From there, the parked Comet Interceptor will use its own propulsion system to chase down its target after the comet has been selected.

Original article on Space.com.

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Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Mysterious large mass discovered on Moon bewilders scientists: ‘Whatever it is, wherever it came from’

A large mass of unknown material has been discovered on the largest crater on the Moon and scientists aren’t sure what it is.

According to an April 2019 study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, the researchers believe the mass could contain metal from an asteroid that crashed into the celestial satellite, which resulted in the aforementioned crater, known as the Lunar South Pole-Aitken basin.

“Imagine taking a pile of metal five times larger than the Big Island of Hawaii and burying it underground. That’s roughly how much unexpected mass we detected,” lead author Dr. Peter James, assistant professor of planetary geophysics at Baylor University, said in a statement.

MYSTERIOUS LIGHT FLASHES ON THE MOON HAVE BEEN BAFFLING RESEARCHERS FOR DECADES

At roughly 1,550 miles in diameter, the Lunar South Pole-Aitken basin covers approximately one-fourth of the Moon’s surface, according to NASA. The Moon’s circumference is roughly 11,000 kilometers.

Westlake Legal Group moon-mass Mysterious large mass discovered on Moon bewilders scientists: 'Whatever it is, wherever it came from' fox-news/science/air-and-space/moon fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article a12418c3-9833-5ce3-b3ad-3a7fd03c4987

This false-color graphic shows the topography of the far side of the Moon. The warmer colors indicate high topography and the bluer colors indicate low topography. The South Pole-Aitken (SPA) basin is shown by the shades of blue. The dashed circle shows the location of the mass anomaly under the basin. (Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/University of Arizona)

In addition to being the largest crater on the Moon, the Pole-Aitken basin is also one of the largest known impact craters in the solar system and is thought to be approximately 4 billion years old.

James and his team looked at data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission and the changes in gravity they discovered surprised them.

“When we combined that with lunar topography data from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, we discovered the unexpectedly large amount of mass hundreds of miles underneath the South Pole-Aitken basin,” James said. “One of the explanations of this extra mass is that the metal from the asteroid that formed this crater is still embedded in the Moon’s mantle.”

The anomaly – “whatever it is, wherever it came from,” James added – is weighing down the basin floor by more than half a mile. The team of researchers ran computer simulations that show the iron-nickel core of an asteroid could have been placed into the upper mantle of the Moon following impact.

EXOMOONS COULD BE HOME TO EXTRATERRESTRIAL LIFE, RESEARCHER SAYS

“We did the math and showed that a sufficiently dispersed core of the asteroid that made the impact could remain suspended in the Moon’s mantle until the present day, rather than sinking to the Moon’s core,” James noted.

One other possibility for the unexplained mass is that it could be an area where dense oxides compiled following the last stage of lunar magma ocean solidification.

Whatever it is, James said the basin is “one of the best natural laboratories for studying catastrophic impact events, an ancient process that shaped all of the rocky planets and moons we see today.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Westlake Legal Group moon.0001_print Mysterious large mass discovered on Moon bewilders scientists: 'Whatever it is, wherever it came from' fox-news/science/air-and-space/moon fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article a12418c3-9833-5ce3-b3ad-3a7fd03c4987   Westlake Legal Group moon.0001_print Mysterious large mass discovered on Moon bewilders scientists: 'Whatever it is, wherever it came from' fox-news/science/air-and-space/moon fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox news fnc/science fnc Chris Ciaccia article a12418c3-9833-5ce3-b3ad-3a7fd03c4987

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

A killer asteroid is coming — we don’t know when (so let’s be ready), Bill Nye says

Westlake Legal Group a-killer-asteroid-is-coming-we-dont-know-when-so-lets-be-ready-bill-nye-says A killer asteroid is coming — we don't know when (so let's be ready), Bill Nye says Mike Wall Space.com Senior Writer LiveScience fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fnc/science fnc article 41907dd6-361b-550b-96e0-81118533d4cf

People are too complacent about the asteroid threat for Bill Nye’s liking.

The former TV “Science Guy,” who currently serves as CEO of the nonprofit Planetary Society, warned that catastrophic impacts like the one that offed the dinosaurs 66 million years ago are not confined to the past.

“The Earth is going to get hit with another [big] asteroid,” Nye said May 2 at the International Academy of Astronautics’ 2019 Planetary Defense Conference in College Park, Maryland.

More from Live Science

“The problem is, we don’t know when,” he added. “It’s a very low probability in anyone’s lifetime, but it’s a very high-consequence event. If it happens, it would be like control-alt-delete for everything.”

Unlike the dinosaurs, however, we don’t just have to sit around and wait for doom to rain down on us. We can do something about the asteroid threat — and we should start prepping for it now, Nye stressed.

The first step is to find the dangerous space rocks. There’s good news on this front: NASA scientists think they’ve already discovered more than 90% of the potential civilization-enders — near-Earth asteroids at least 0.6 miles (1 kilometers) wide — and none of these mountain-size space rocks pose a threat for the foreseeable future.

But there are lots of undiscovered asteroids zooming through near-Earth space that could do serious damage on a local scale — wiping out an area the size of a state, for example. So, it would behoove us to get some better detection tools online, Nye said.

Such help is coming, and soon. For instance, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, a big instrument set to start observing the heavens next year from Chile, will likely be able to discover and catalog 80% to 90% of potentially hazardous asteroids at least 460 feet (140 meters) wide, project team members say.

And NASA is considering launching a dedicated asteroid-hunter called the Near-Earth Object Camera. This proposed mission would scan for space rocks in infrared light, spotting their heat signatures in the darkness.

Coordination is the next step after detection, Nye said. A big asteroid hurtling toward Earth would be a global issue, so the international community would have to work together to deal with it.

And we’d have several options at our disposal. If we had enough warning time — years or, preferably, decades — we could launch a probe to fly alongside the asteroid, gradually nudging the rock off course via a gravitational tug. This “gravity tractor” craft would ideally boost its pull by plucking a big boulder off the asteroid, said NASA Chief Scientist Jim Green, who participated in yesterday’s event with Nye.

If we were pressed for time, we could slam one or more spacecraft into the asteroid, knocking it onto a benign trajectory through brute force. Or we could detonate a nuclear weapon near the rock, vaporizing much of its surface. The resulting mass loss, and the flow of material off the asteroid, would change the rock’s path, experts say. And the shock wave from the blast might do the trick by itself, Nye said.

Nye also mentioned the “Laser Bees” strategy, which involves sending a swarm of small spacecraft out to the potentially dangerous asteroid. Each little probe would focus a laser beam on the same spot on the rock, vaporizing material and causing a jet to erupt. This jet would serve as a sort of engine that would push the asteroid onto a different path.

During his portion of the presentation, Green highlighted the many things we can learn from asteroids — they’re time capsules from the dawn of the solar system, after all, and carbon-rich rocks may have helped life get started on Earth — and their potential benefits for exploration. Tapping into asteroid resources could make voyaging spacecraft and astronauts more self-sufficient and improve life here on Earth as well, he said.

But Green agreed with Nye that the space-rock threat is real: There are catastrophic impacts in our future if we don’t do something about them.

“It’s not a matter of if; it’s only a matter of when,” Green said.

Mike Wall’s book about the search for alien life, “ Out There ” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate ), is out now. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall . Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook .

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Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Killer asteroid destroys New York in simulation exercise

Westlake Legal Group killer-asteroid-destroys-new-york-in-simulation-exercise Killer asteroid destroys New York in simulation exercise fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox news fnc/science fnc Christopher Carbone article 1beb0b0a-48c8-56ee-bc76-ebf3346aed0c
Westlake Legal Group HvwzRyLxTQv2TeptaimSp5 Killer asteroid destroys New York in simulation exercise fox-news/science/air-and-space/asteroids fox news fnc/science fnc Christopher Carbone article 1beb0b0a-48c8-56ee-bc76-ebf3346aed0c

A massive killer asteroid is headed straight for New York.

An exercise set up by “planetary defense” experts is reportedly meant to gauge what would happen if authorities were unable to deflect a giant space rock hurtling toward America’s most populous city at 43,000 miles per hour.

The asteroid, about 330 to 1,000 feet in diameter, would explode 9.3 miles above Central Park on April 29, 2027, with 1,000 times the energy of the nuclear bomb that decimated Hiroshima, according to AFP.

In the simulation, Manhattan is destroyed, and the damage extends as far out as 42 miles from the epicenter, ensuring destruction across the heavily-developed metropolitan area.

‘TRANSFORMATIVE CHANGES’ ARE NEEDED TO SAVE NATURE AND OURSELVES, MAJOR CLIMATE REPORT CLAIMS

The horrifying scenario is meant to provoke questions, such as: How do authorities evacuate 10 million people? How would ruined urban areas be rebuilt?

“Two months may not be enough time to really evacuate, because you’re evacuating people who are stuck, who have to rebuild their lives where they’re going. You’re going to have fleets of U-hauls,” Brandy Johnson, who plays the role of an “angry citizen” in the exercise, referring to the rental moving trucks, told AFP.

A major unknown is how Americans would actually behave in the face of this doomsday scenario.

HUGE ‘GOD OF CHAOS’ ASTEROID TO PASS NEAR EARTH IN 2029

“If you knew your home was going to be destroyed six months from now, and that you weren’t going back again, would you keep paying your mortgage?” Victoria Andrews, NASA’s deputy planetary defense officer, asked

Fortunately, the fictional killer asteroid is “highly unlikely,” Paul Chodas, the NASA engineer who is the game’s designer, told AFP.

“But we wanted the issues to be exposed and discussed,” he added.

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Huge ‘God of Chaos’ asteroid to pass near earth in 2029: report

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A 1,110-foot-wide asteroid named for the Egyptian god of chaos will fly past earth in 2029 within the distance of some orbiting spacecraft, according to reports.

The asteroid, 99942 Apophis, will come within 19,000 miles of earth on April 13, a decade from now, but scientists at the Planetary Defense Conference are already preparing for the encounter, Newsweek reported. They plan to discuss the asteroid’s effects on earth’s gravity, potential research opportunities and even how to deflect an incoming asteroid in a theoretical scenario.

NASA CHIEF WARNS ASTEROID THREAT IS REAL: ‘IT’S ABOUT PROTECTING THE ONLY PLANET WE KNOW TO HOST LIFE’

Scientists say most asteroids that pass near earth aren’t more than 30 feet wide, making Apophis, named for an Egyptian god of chaos, a rare opportunity for research.

The asteroid will be visible to the naked eye and will look like a moving star point of light, according to NASA. It will pass over the United States in the early evening, according to WUSA 9.

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Apophis was discovered in 2004 and, after tracking it for 15 years, scientists say the asteroid has a 1 in 100,000 chance of striking earth decades in the future – after 2060, Newsweek reported.

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NASA chief warns asteroid threat is real: ‘It’s about protecting the only planet we know to host life’

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NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine is sounding the alarm that an asteroid strike is not something to be taken lightly and is perhaps Earth’s biggest threat.

Speaking at the International Academy of Astronautics’ 2019 Planetary Defense Conference in College Park, Md., on Monday, Bridenstine said the space agency and other asteroid scientists need to make sure people understand that the threat is very real and not just the imagination of big-budget blockbuster movie directors.

“We have to make sure that people understand that this is not about Hollywood, it’s not about movies,” Bridenstine said at the conference, according to Space.com. “This is about ultimately protecting the only planet we know right now to host life, and that is the planet Earth.”

NASA GAMEPLANS MASSIVE ASTEROID STRIKE

“We know for a fact that the dinosaurs did not have a space program. But we do, and we need to use it,” Bridenstine added, attempting to portray planetary defense on the same level as a return trip to the Moon. The Trump administration wants to see astronauts return to the Moon by 2024, with or without the help of NASA.

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NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine testifies before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology on April 2, 2019, during a hearing to review NASA’s fiscal year 2020 budget request.

Bridenstine knows the perils of asteroid strikes all too well. In February 2013, he had been a Congressman in Oklahoma for just a month when a devastating asteroid streaked across the Russian sky.

Known as the Chelyabinsk Event, it was the largest known meteor strike in over a century and it injured more than 1,600 people. It “released the energy equivalent of around 440,000 tons of TNT,” according to NASA.

“I wish I could tell you these events are exceptionally unique,” Bridenstine said during the presentation, noting they have occurred three times in the past 100 years. “But they are not.”

Currently, there are two asteroid-centric missions going on around the world —  NASA’s OSIRIS-REx probe, which reached the Bennu asteroid in December 2018, and the Japanese Hayabusa2 spacecraft, which recently “bombed” the Ryugu asteroid in an effort to learn more about it.

HOW AMERICA CAN GET ITS SLICE OF THE $1 TRILLION SPACE ECONOMY

Bridenstine highlighted the scientific importance of both of these missions but added that planetary defense is also an important component. “Yes, it’s about science, it’s about discovery, it’s about exploration, but one of the reasons we do those missions is so that we can characterize those objects to protect, again, the only planet we know to host life.”

“We have to use our systems, use our capabilities to ultimately get a lot more data, and we have to do it faster,” Bridenstine said.

Planetary defense

When it comes to planetary defense, NASA is not sitting on its haunches, having taken several steps to protect Earth by detecting and tracking near-Earth Objects, also known as NEOs.

Last June, NASA unveiled a 20-page plan that details steps the U.S. should take to be better prepared for NEOs, asteroids and comets that come within 30 million miles of Earth. Lindley Johnson, the space agency’s planetary defense officer, said at the time that the country “already has significant scientific, technical and operational capabilities” to help with NEOs, but implementing the new plan would “greatly increase our nation’s readiness and work with international partners to effectively respond should a new potential asteroid impact be detected.”

There are approximately 18,000 known NEOs and that number is constantly growing.

MYSTERIOUS INTERSTELLAR METEOR MAY HAVE SLAMMED INTO EARTH IN 2014

In 2016, NASA formalized the agency’s prior program for detecting and tracking NEOs and put it inside its Science Mission Directorate.

NASA will launch its first asteroid defense mission, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, in 2022. Earlier this month, NASA awarded a $69 million contract to SpaceX, the space exploration company led by Elon Musk, to help with DART.

Currently, asteroid scientists from around the world are conducting a drill showing what the various global agencies would do about a potential asteroid collision. For the first time, the drill is being played out over social media. Updates of the hypothetical event are being shared on the ESA Operations Twitter account until May 3.

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China to explore asteroids and comets in upcoming mission

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Following the successful landing of its Chang’e 4 spacecraft on the far side of the Moon earlier this year, China is looking to expand its space program by exploring an asteroid and a comet within the next three years.

According to China’s state-run Xinhua news agency, China’s space program will look to explore the near-Earth asteroid, known as 2016 HO3, as well as a main asteroid belt comet, known as 133P.

Liu Jizhong, director of the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center of the China National Space Administration, said the whole mission would take approximately 10 years, though, at this time, it is still under discussion.

CHINA SUCCESSFULLY LANDS SPACECRAFT ON FAR SIDE OF MOON, STATE MEDIA SAYS

Assuming it comes to fruition, a probe would be sent to 2016HO3, collect samples and then return to Earth with a return capsule bringing back the samples.

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Asteroid 2016 HO3 has an orbit around the sun that keeps it as a constant companion of Earth. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Asteroid 2016 HO3, which was discovered in 2016, keeps an orbit around the Sun that allows it to remain a “constant companion of Earth,” NASA’s JPL previously explained.

It also appears to circle Earth. Though it’s too far away to be considered a true satellite, as our Moon is, it is considered a “quasi-satellite,” the space agency added.

Comet 133P is a different type of comet sitting amongst the main belt, given its composition. It has “an asteroid-belt body” and has displayed “comet-like activity” in the past, according to Space.com.

It’s also possible 133P is an “active asteroid,” the news outlet added, similar to the asteroid Bennu, which is currently being explored by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx probe.

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