The Planetary Defense Conference will be taking place on Monday, April 29, in Washington DC. There, asteroid experts from all around the world will gather to discuss a hypothetical life-threatening event. They will investigate the eventuality in which an asteroid will hit Earth, observing how humanity will respond to the possibility of an imminent devastating situation.
NASA, along with the US Federal Emergency Management Agency, planned out this entire exercise, with the reason of analyzing how everyone would act to the news of an actual impact prediction.
To further the simulation even more, the European Space Agency (ESA) decided to take it to the next level by live-tweeting the scenario. To prevent actual freak-outs, the team uses the hashtag #FICTIONALEVENT on all of the posts. They document every single step, from the discovery of the asteroid to the increase in colliding chances. Now, they reached the point of announcing the probability of an impact in 2027 with an asteroid 15 times bigger than the one that hit Russia in 2013. They worsen the tension by publishing a chance of impact of 1 to 100.
Although everyone following the tweets knows it’s just a simulation, it’s still very interesting to observe the unraveling of events. Knowing that this kind of events happened in the past and could happen again in the future is a really frightening thought. It makes you think “What would I do in this situation?”
The plot will be continuously updated, including made-up responses from astronauts, space agencies and governments, and followers will receive daily insight on the hypothetical asteroid impact.
In real life, there is no reason to panic over an imminent asteroid threat, at least for now. NASA is constantly tracking asteroids making their way through space, so we will certainly be announced of any important discovery.
If you want to be the first to know if humanity manages to survive, follow ESA Operations’ Twitter Page.
Cameron Potvin is a seasoned journalist with nearly 6 years experience. While studying journalism at the New Mexico State University, Cameron found a passion for finding engaging stories. As a contributor to News Lair, Cameron mostly covers state and national developments.