End of the World is Nigh!
The world will end on Friday the 13th April 2029, says NASA. A huge asteroid will crash into our planet, destroying all forms of life and turning the Earth into a desolate, lifeless galactic wilderness.
According to NASA, there's now a one-in-250,000 chance that the asteroid Apophis will hit the Earth during a 2038 fly-by.
"That's about 160 times more likely than winning the lottery," says apocalypse specialist Dr Willam H Carpenter, "and people win lotteries every day."
But that's not all. Apophis will also swing by nine years earlier, in 2029, when on current estimates it will get as close as 18,300 miles.
"That's 4,000 miles closer than the geosynchronous satellites on which our global communications depend," explains Carpenter. "The asteroid will actually have to pass through the orbits of man-made spacecraft. In astronomical terms, 18,300 miles is a hair's breadth."
And it gets worse.
"The real problem is that these estimates are all based on Government-supplied data," says Carpenter. "When was the last time you believed in Government figures? They only have to be out by a fraction and we're all toast."
The problem, he says, is that Apophis was only recently discovered. According to NASA, the asteroid was first identified in 2004. Since then, the space agency has constantly revised the odds of the celestial body impacting the Earth and destroying us all.
"The truth is, we just don't have enough data to guarantee that we'll survive these close encounters," says Carpenter. "That means we almost certainly won't."
It all adds up to Doomsday, he reckons. The surface of the Earth will be reduced to ash and life will become extinct.
"Using the NASA predictions, and applying standard Government margins of error, I confidently predict that Life on Earth will end in 2029," says Carpenter. "If not, it'll be 2038. That's assuming we haven't all been killed in the apocalypse of 2012."