Menu Bar

Many Updates...World Pundit, Photo Pundit, Video Pundit, Poem Pundit and Health Pundit! (Hover with mouse to stop scrolling)
Free Counters
Free Counters
Floating Vertical Bar With Share Buttons widget by India Pundit
Random Posts:

Indian Web DirectoryIndian PortalIndian ParliamentRajya SabhaIndian Armed ForcesIndian Air ForceIndian NavyIndian Customs & ExciseIndian RailwaysIndian Supreme CourtIndian CourtsIndian Election CommissionIndian NICIndian PIBIndia PostPrasar BharatiIndia IRCTCIndia CBSEIndia ERNET

Monday, April 15, 2013

April 13th - More than a New Year

panchaWelcome Vijaya Samvatsaram, vedic new year and harbinger of happiness and prosperity to all. I hope all the Kannada, Malayali, Telugu and Theistic Tamilians had a great time welcoming and celebrating Ugadi/Vishu/Tamizh Putthaandu. I am far away from the rest of my family in India and rueing why, but still celebrating it sombrely. In our family tradition, we celebrate Ugadi as well as Tamil New Year. So it was a double treat. But I have always been inclusive enough to ponder about Chaitra Vishukkani (April 14) also, and the sumptuous keralite food that goes with the New Year.

New Year for Dravidians (South Indians to be politically correct) means a whole lot of things. Cleaning the house and surroundings with sanctified water (containing cow-dung, cow-urine etc), decorating the house, adorning themselves with new dresses, jewellery, bindi etc, bonhomie with relatives, community feasts, temple worship, panchaanga paatanam, astrological readings, business renewals and celebrating bounty in general. Of course, not to forget the Cricket season also - after all we are somehow Rahul Dravidians as well, aren't we?

But amongst all this mood of celebration and overflowing love for humanity, I am also grimly reminded about what April 13th means to humans in years to come. Not too far off in the year 2029, on exactly April 13th, we will be visited by an asteroid 99942 Aphophis or Destroyer (official name is 2004 MN4 since it was located in the year 2004). This day incidentally happens to be another Friday the 13th, if that would scare you further. If this asteroid passes through what the scientists term as a half a mile gravitational keyhole in space while coming as close as 19,400 miles (31,300 kilometers) to earth, then the asteroid is doomed for a collision on Sunday, April 13, 2036 (exactly 7 years later). As I write this post on April 13, 2013, it is a Saturday. Coincidence?

Space scientists have recently updated the trajectory of Apophis and claim it will not impact our planet. But it will still be a close shave in 2029, and it could possibly change course and hit us as well with an impact energy of 880 MT (17 Tzar bombs). But for now we have the following photo and trajectory supplied by NASA JPL's NEO Program to keep us discomforted. I sincerely hope it will force some of us to look up at the wonders of the night sky, and appreciate the valuable contributions of astronomy and space science to our short lives. By the way, there is also another NEO program of NASA, which deals with Near Earth Observations.
Click image below to view the video of Apophis Orbit.

No comments: