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NASA analysis: Earth is safe from asteroid Apophis for 100-plus years

The notorious Apophis space rock just shed its hazardous status — for the following 100 years in any event — after fresh observations of the near-Earth asteroid.


Astronomers have been watching out for Apophis since its discovery in 2004, after beginning estimations based on a more fundamental circle suggested it would come uncomfortably close to our planet in 2029. Apophis' huge size added to this worry, as it stretches 1,100 feet (340 meters) across — around 10 times bigger than the object that made Meteor Crater in Arizona.



In the wake of refining the underlying observations, astronomers found that there was no genuine risk of effect in 2029. Presently, after Apophis safely passed by Earth recently, there's all the more uplifting news: the asteroid will not hit Earth in 2068 by the same token. The space rock has also been eliminated from a risk list known as the Sentry Impact Risk Table, which is kept up by NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), which is overseen by the office's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.


Goldstone and Green Bank cooperated to get imaging of Apophis, with Goldstone transmitting a radar signal and Green Bank accepting the reflection. The resulting radar symbolism was pixelated, yet showed a resolution of generally 38.75 meters (127 feet) per pixel.


"In the event that we had binoculars as amazing as this radar, we would have the option to sit in Los Angeles and read a supper menu at a restaurant in New York," said JPL scientist Marina Brozovic, who drove the radar crusade, in the same statement.


This new symbolism will become our understanding of asteroids. Also, using these observations, the teams studying the asteroid desire to sort out its shape; previous observations suggested that Apophis may be shaped like a nut.


They also need to find out about the asteroid's turn rate and its axis spin, which will help anticipate what direction the asteroid has with Earth when it flies by in 2029. The close experience with our planet could harmlessly change the asteroid spin state or cause "asteroid quakes" on the stone's surface, the group said.


Estimated to be around 1,100 feet (340 meters) across, Apophis immediately acquired reputation as an asteroid that could pose a serious danger to Earth when astronomers anticipated that it would come uncomfortably close in 2029. Thanks to extra observations of the near-Earth object (NEO), the risk of an effect in 2029 was subsequently precluded, as was the potential effect risk posed by another close methodology in 2036. Until this month, nonetheless, a small possibility of effect in 2068 still remained.


At the point when Apophis made a distant flyby of Earth around March 5, astronomers accepted the open door to use amazing radar observations to refine the estimate of its circle around the Sun with outrageous precision, empowering them to certainly preclude any effect risk in 2068 and long after.

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