21. GLIESE 710
Apparently GLIESE 710 is a small red dwarf star that is heading our way. It will arrive in about 1.3 billion years and if it passes through our solar system then it is very possibly goodbye planet Earth. Just so you know - it may be small but it is still 50 times the size of our planet. It will also disrupt just about every rock and asteroid in the region. So even if GLIESE 710 is a close miss we’re still space debris thanks to all those disturbed asteroids. Will it hit our solar system? At the moment it’s a 1 in 50 chance but that’s still not good when that one chance means total annihilation.
This option may well deserve to be ranked higher, particularly as science seems determined to prod this concept until something nasty happens. First off - is there really something called antimatter – in essence the opposite of matter? According CERN, yes there is and during 1995 they announced that they had successfully created nine antihydrogen atoms by implementing the SLAC/Fermilab concept during the PS210 experiment. The experiment was performed using the Low Energy Antiproton Ring (LEAR), and was led by Walter Oelert and Mario Macri. Fermilab soon confirmed the CERN findings by producing approximately 100 antihydrogen atoms at their facilities. The problem was that these antimatter 1995 particles were “hot” (a disturbing term) and not that suitable to study. (Nearly 15 years later CERN now have the Large Hadron Collider. It makes the LEAH look like a kid’s toy.) We won’t trouble you with the science – there is a very good page on Wikipedia and the online Encyclopedia Britannica. But ... we will explain the issue. Put simply, when antimatter and matter neutralize each other vast amounts of energy could potentially be released. In the 2000 novel, “Angels and Demons” by Dan Brown (Author of The Da Vinci Code) a very tiny amount of antimatter stolen from CERN is used to create a massive explosion over the Vatican (Rome). It appears that CERN are improving their ability to produce this “stuff” and it may be very dangerous “stuff” indeed. We did some calculations that became incredibly complex so we are very willing to admit that we may have got it wrong but according to our estimates just one (1) kilogram of pure antimatter allowed to interact with matter would completely disintegrate the Planet Earth and the Moon. Actually the calculations suggested that it could take out every planet from Mercury to Jupiter but surely that’s a mistake? The very good news is that it is incredibly expensive and difficult to produce this stuff. Hang on a moment … that’s today. It might well be quite easy to produce it in a thousand years time. We’d better hope that they have really good Health and Safety standards by then. The more we think about it the more we worry that this should be our number one concern … maybe!
According to various religious beliefs, particularly the Christian Church, God will eventually end the world and the “good’ will go to Heaven and the “evil” will go to Hell. Believers call this the Rapture. It was supposed to happen just over a decade ago and again as recently as the 21st of May, 2011. (It was incorrectly predicted by a popular evangelist . The BBC ran the story under the headline - 'Followers Baffled as Life Goes On - click here to read more.
In the Book of Revelation, God, ushering in the Great Tribulation judgments, commands seven angels to pour "seven vials of the wrath of God" upon the Earth. Armageddon (the end of the world) then follows the pouring of the sixth vial. If you are a deeply religious believer then this is what will happen – end of debate. If you are an observational scientist or of a different religion then this is just a load of rubbish. Both the Armageddonists and the Scientists firmly believe that the world will end. The disagreement is about when, how and why!