Is this the end of mankind? Scientists have found many Near Earth Objects that can possibly collide with the Earth. One asteroid of main concern is Asteroid Apophis
. Along with that asteroid, are Asteroid 1950DA
and Asteroid VD17
. However, there are many other asteroids that have been found that have no chance of colliding with the Earth such as Asteroid 2004 XP14
Each asteroid is ranked on the Torino Impact Scale
. By looking at the Torino Scale, one is able to tell what the chances are of an asteroid hitting the Earth. The scale is labeled on levels from zero to ten. A labeling of zero means that the asteroid has no chance of collision and a level ten means that a chance of collision is highly probable. This scale has been used ever since it was created in 1999.
Asteroid Apophis, which is talked about later in this section, has the highest ever rating on the Torino Impact Scale. All impact potentials were level one or below until the Apophis rating came out as a level two.
"Since, in the long run, every planetary civilization will be endangered by impacts from space, every surviving civilization is obliged to become space faring--not because of exploratory or romantic zeal, but for the most practical reason imaginable: staying alive... If our long-term survival is at stake, we have a basic responsibility to our species to venture to other worlds." Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994 from Space Quotes
Torino Level Impact Scale guidance sheet. Picture from www.eurekalert.org