The gigantic Apophis asteroid hurtling towards Earth has sparked a flurry of panicked news reports. Elon Musk says we needn’t worry about it, but warns we are completely defenseless against similar planet-killer asteroids.

Musk was responding to a tweet from his friend, podcast host Joe Rogan, who shared a news article about the so-called ‘God of Chaos’ asteroid from the Express, which appears to post a new doom-’n’-gloom article about this particular asteroid every few weeks.

“Great name! Wouldn’t worry about this particular one, but a big rock will hit Earth eventually & we currently have no defense,” the SpaceX founder said.

Roughly the size of four football fields, if the space rock were to hit Earth, it would smash us with the force of 15,000 nuclear weapons detonating simultaneously.

However, Musk rightly cautions that the entire Apophis narrative is a little overblown: during its close flyby in 2029, the asteroid will come within 37,600km (23,363 miles) of our planet, just a tenth of the distance between Earth and the Moon. Scary but not quite apocalyptic.

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The Department of Celestial Mechanics at St. Petersburg State University previously warned that the 370-meter-wide asteroid could strike the Earth sometime in 2068. That is, if it somehow manages to pass through a two-meter-wide ‘keyhole’ area of space during its close flyby of the Earth in 2029 (with odds of roughly one-in-2.3-million). (RT)