Still Eyeing Apophis!

May 2, 2010 at 11:21 PM (Uncategorized)

A cautious eye still is being directed toward 99942 Apophis.  Though the most recent studies say that chances of the asteroid harming our Earth are slim to nil, scientists and other skywatchers are keeping track.  We do not want to be caught with our pants down!

Random talk is cautiously warning that Apophis will strike Earth on April 13, 2029 .  This information comes from NASA reports, which reveal that Apophis has a 2.7% chance of stiking our home planet upon it’s 2029 pass.  I realize that sounds completely insignificant.  Yet, chances are chances, and weirder things have happened!

Right now, Apophis is somewhere between 17 and 25 million milew away.  The radio telescope at The Aricebo Observatory, Puerto Rico, is being used to track the asteroid.  The initial estimates that revealed the minor chance of a 2029 strike were delivered through readings from this telescope. 

Further studies of Apophis are being done, some of which reveal the chance for another strike of Earth.  If Apophis does not hit our planet during 2029, it will continue on an orbital path throughout our solar system.  A return trip toward the orbit of Earth may give Apophis a chance at impacting on the same date, during 2036!

However.  More recent studies of this asteroid have shown that it will pass near to Earth during 2012.  During April, two years from now, Apophis is supposed to clear our planet by thirty-three thousand miles, at most!  That sounds like a lot, but it is nothing, when comparing distances in outer space!



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