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Apophis asteroid could hit Earth in 2036

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:45 am
by Apophis ... -away.html The European Space Agency's orbiting telescope has captured striking new images of the huge 'Doomsday' asteroid Apophis that could smash into Earth in 2036 - revealing it is larger than previously thought.
Long billed as a potential cause of an Extinction Level Event (ELE) for humanity, today ESA officials announced that its Herschel Space Observatory discovered that the asteroid is 1,066 feet wide, 20 percent larger than the previous estimate of 885 feet.
Whizzing past Earth at the relatively close distance of nine million miles tonight, Apophis is being closely tracked because of a 2004 study that predicted the rock has a 2.7 percent chance of hitting Earth in April 2029, which was later revised to 2036.

Re: Apophis asteroid could hit Earth in 2036

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:57 pm
by rob42
On the other hand...
Kelly Beatty wrote:After tracking asteroid 99942 Apophis with NASA's giant Goldstone radar dish, astronomers are now certain that the threatening asteroid has no chance of striking Earth in 2036.

Astronomers surely enjoy dramatic stories as much as the rest of us. But today they played spoilers with the welcome announcement that the sizable Earth-crossing asteroid 99942 Apophis will pose no threat when it comes near our planet in 2036.

We haven't heard the last word on this little interplanetary demon. Goldstone radar observations of Apophis will continue through January 17th, and additional tracking is planned next month with the giant Arecibo radio dish in Puerto Rico. All that pinging should yield super-accurate positional data and, perhaps, reveal the asteroid's shape and spin state.

But the worry about Apophis has only been postponed, not eliminated. Its orbit is not all that different from Earth's, and some day in the distant future the two bodies will either have a catastrophic collision — or an encounter so close that Earth's gravity will yank Apophis onto a new and significantly different interplanetary path.
This is from ... 45171.html

Time will tell, I suppose... :?

Re: Apophis asteroid could hit Earth in 2036

Posted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:07 pm
by falkor
if it passes Earth within 100 yards it will make some frighteningly good status updates on facebook :wide: