The European Space Agency wants to blow up an asteroid. One of their possible targets is called "99942 Apophis".
This 900-foot wide asteroid came pretty close to the Earth in 2004. http://www.deepastronomy.com/apophis-asteroid-could-hit-earth.html. It is supposed to swing around here again in 2013, 2029 and 2036. There is a question as to whether it might slam into the Earth in 2029 or 2036. Apparently it will miss us in 2013.
It even has its own website! http://asteroidapophis.com/
This is an interesting name for an asteroid. Apophis, or Apep, was an Egyptian serpent demon/god of darkness and chaos. (OH NO! NOT MORE LIZARDS! ARRRGH!) And 999 upside down? Hmm. And 42 is the answer to the big cosmic question in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. (they didn't know what the question was). Sounds pretty suspicious to me. They better blow it up.
The Egyptians didn't so much worship Apep as worship against him. They even had a handbook on how to keep him at bay. It was called "The Books of Overthrowing Apep" and featured such chapters as:
- Spitting Upon Apep
- Defiling Apep with the Left Foot
- Taking a Lance to Smite Apep
- Fettering Apep
- Taking a Knife to Smite Apep
- Laying Fire Upon Apep
So, very interesting, we're going to try and blow him up now. Or some rock in space named after him. LOL! I guess it's better than getting an asteroid smackdown in 2029. Good luck, guys.