Apophis the asteroid is not hurling towards Earth... But only for now!

WION Web Team
New Delhi, IndiaEdited By: Bharat SharmaUpdated: Mar 27, 2021, 01:25 PM IST

Representative image of a near-Earth asteroid Photograph:(Twitter)

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For the last 15 years, scientists have been worried about Apophis ramming into Earth

Social media is roaring with reports of an asteroid heading Earth’s way to cause major mayhem. But NASA believes the asteroid in question - “Apophis” poses no risks to the planet…. For now, and for a century to follow.

For the last 15 years, scientists have been worried about Apophis ramming into Earth. Now, they’re no longer worried. Apophis is a 340 metre (1,100) space rock which caused a frenzy in 2004 upon its discovery by scientists. Many previous estimates claimed that the asteroid would come extremely close to earth in 2029, and then again in 2036.

These two close approaches were ruled out by NASA a while ago. But scientists feared that a 2068 collision would be imminent. That was until scientists made some new observations to rule out any risk from the asteroid. In fact, it has been taken off NASA’s “risk list”.

In a statement, Davide Farnocchia of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies said that a collision in 2068 is no longer in the “realm of possibility”.  “Our calculations don’t show any impact risk for at least the next 100 years”, he said.

Scientists located and learned more about the orbit of the asteroid based on recent radar observations from March.

On April 13, 2029, the asteroid will be within 32,000 kilometres (20,000 miles) of Earth. Scientists hope to get a better look at the asteroid in 2029 when it approaches the planet.

Most asteroids in our solar system are situated in a belt between Mars and Jupiter, but not all of them remain there. Belonging to the Aten family, Apophis is situation in the Earth’s orbit, putting it between our planet and the sun.