Your Name:

Asteroids, Part III

Comprehension Questions

Answer the following questions based on the video you watched in class about asteroids. The video is part of the NOVA series NOVA Science Now and can be viewed at Watch the video material (‘Play Video’ link and the Cosmic Perspective) on that page and listen to the podcast called Hit or Miss. Also, take a look at the material under the heading The Asteroid that hit L.A. Answer the following questions with complete sentences using examples from the material on the site.

  1. What is the name of the asteroid that may hit Earth and how big is it?
  2. The space between the planets is not completely empty. What kinds of objects are found there and what is their range of sizes?
  3. What causes craters on the Moon and some craters on the Earth?
  4. How did a meteor impact kill off the dinosaurs?
  5. What are the maximum chances that Apophis will strike Earth on Friday, April 13, 2029?
  6. How close do scientists think Apophis will actually approach Earth in 2029?
  7. What is meant by the keyhole?
  8. How much damage could Apophis do if it does hit the Earth?
  9. How can an impact be prevented?

page break
  1. Would a nuclear bomb be effective at deflecting the meteoroid called Apophis? What would you have to be able to do to make it effective?
  2. What might be a better way to deflect Apophis and how would it work?
  3. What makes the method in the previous question difficult to carry out?
  4. What is a gravitational tractor and how could it prevent an impact?
  5. What is the true lesson of Apophis—whether it strikes the Earth or not—when it comes to preventing meteoroid impacts?
  6. According to host Neil deGrasse Tyson we can’t live without asteroids and their possible impacts on Earth. Why not? (from the Cosmic Perspective feature)
  7. Why are scientists so uncertain about whether Apophis will strike the Earth or not? (from the podcast feature called Hit or Miss)
Asteroids, Part I
Asteroids, Part II
Asteroid Facts Worksheet
Asteroids: What should be done about Apophis?
Last updated: May 08, 2009        Home