Large Asteroid 'Apophis' Could Hit Earth in 2068
Not all big, Earth-threatening asteroids are spotted before they come uncomfortably close to hitting Earth
HONOLULU — Not all big, Earth-threatening asteroids are spotted before they come uncomfortably close to hitting Earth.
And even for those asteroids we do see coming, it can still be hard to calculate just how likely a collision actually is.
Asteroid Apophis is one of these dangerous asteroids. Discovered in 2004, the 370-meter long rocky blob is on NASAs Sentry list — a list of asteroids we should be keeping an eye on.
Scientists don't expect it to hit Earth during its next close flyby in 2029, but they're worried it might slam into Earth in 2068, as it comes this way again.
In a recent presentation to the American Astronomical Society, scientists David Tholen and Davide Farnocchia showed their research showing why the asteroid should be studied in detail when it passes in 2029, to get a better idea of how close it will come to Earth in 2068.
They say that work needs to start now to be ready in 9 years' time.
While the risk of Apophis hitting Earth in 2068 is around 1 in 150,000, an asteroid that size would cause a blast larger than an atomic bomb, so it's best to double check the numbers.
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