The Mercury transit happened on Monday, and the world became worried what it could mean for people on Earth. As Mercury only wanders directly in front of the sun about 13 times per century, there is mounting curiosity whether the phenomenon will also mean doomsday for people. Can we survive it?
People were in for a treat this Monday as Mercury “crossed paths” with the Sun in a rare “transit” that happens only several times per century. NASA released a graphic showing the expected path of the transit.
According to VOX, the transit started at 7:12 a.m. EST before ending at 2:42 p.m. The phenomenon is expected to last for around 7.5 hours. Amidst interest over such phenomenon, there are also concerns as to whether Earth should expect bad things during and after the transit. Will there be apocalyptic occurrences? Is doomsday around the corner?
Fortunately, people should be relieved to know that NASA finally stepped in to reassure citizens that the Mercury transit will not mean doomsday for the world. Experts from the space agency clarified to the public that doomsday in relation to the transit is not true. As they clarified via Asteroid Watch Twitter account:
@andrewm92149760 Sounds like another hoax. Mercury transits take place about 13 times each century. Last one was 2006.
— Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) May 8, 2016
The panic originated from a number of websites and online users saying that Mercury’s transit in front of the Earth’s parent star meant that a complex Biblical event will happen.
Despite the odds of doomsday not happening, scientists were willing to provide insights on how the human race can avoid being wiped out totally.
“If we fired a 100km wide asteroid on an elliptical orbit that passed close to the Earth every 5,000 years, we could slowly gravitationally nudge the planet’s orbit farther away from the sun, provided that we don’t accidentally hit the Earth,” News quoted scientists.
“Strategies like these could, in principle, keep the Earth in the habitable zone until the sun expands into a red giant,” the astrophysicists explained.
There is also the option of humans uploading themselves into machines, but that is beyond capabilities yet.