NASA has been worried about a possible collision with this large asteroid since 2004.
The US space agency NASA has calculated that the asteroid 9942 Apophis will pass through Earth with a distance of “only” 32,000 kilometers. The event will take place on Friday, April 13, 2029. The passage will be visible to the naked eye, without having to resort to telescopes or binoculars.
The asteroid has a full diameter of 340 meters and could cause enormous damage if it hit the earth.
This animated video for NASA shows the supposed orbit of the asteroid Apophis as it passes through Earth on April 13, 2029.
In the past, there was tension and anxiety associated with this particular asteroid. NASA scientists were not entirely sure whether a collision between Earth and the asteroid could be completely ruled out in the relatively near future.
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Potentially dangerous asteroid
Since 2004, Apophis has been considered the most dangerous asteroid that could affect Earth.
At first, NASA wasn’t sure if the asteroid could potentially collide with Earth as early as 2029. Then that probability shifted to 2036 and now no later than 2068.
Now NASA can bring good news, at least for everyone living today.
– The possibility of a collision in 2068 is no longer available, and our calculations show no risk of collision over the next 100 years, says Davide Farnocchia at the Center for Object Studies. NASA Earth (CNEOS).
As its name suggests, CNEOS monitors objects in space that pass at a relatively close distance to Earth.
– When I started working with asteroids after my studies, Apophis was the top candidate among dangerous asteroids, says Farnocchia.
* Asteroids are small irregularly shaped iron and rock cell bodies that orbit the Sun. Most asteroids in the solar system are in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Since 1993, many hundreds of asteroids have been discovered in the Kuiper belt, outside the orbit of Neptune, and even more.
* It is estimated that there are about 100,000 asteroids with a diameter greater than one kilometer. The total mass of all the asteroids in the solar system is less than the mass of the Moon.
* Asteroids orbit the Sun in the same direction as the planets. Asteroids that cross Earth’s orbit are called Apollo asteroids. It is estimated that there are about 1200 asteroids with a diameter greater than one kilometer near Earth’s orbit. These pose a not insignificant risk of collision to Earth.
* In 2017, an asteroid that does not belong to the solar system, the so-called interstellar asteroid, was first observed. The interstellar asteroid ‘Oumuamua’ (1I / 2017) has an orbit that indicates that it is not gravitationally bound to the Sun and that it travels through the universe.
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Removed from the risk list
A collision between Earth and Apophis is believed to have caused an explosion equivalent to 508 megatons, which is 28,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima during World War II, according to Sky News.
– Backed by recent optical observations and other radar observations, the uncertainty of Apophis’ orbit has dropped from hundreds of kilometers to a few kilometers in terms of position in 2029. This widely expanded knowledge of its position in 2029 provides greater understanding Farnocchia, according to their future moves, we can now remove Apophis from this list of risks.
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The list Farnocchia refers to is the sentinel impact risk table. This is NASA’s own overview of objects in space that have a potential risk of hitting the Earth. At the time of writing, there are 21 objects in this list.
Once astronomers have calculated to exclude the risk of collision of objects, the object is moved to the list of deleted objects. Apophis was transferred to that list until Friday, March 26th.
Some known achievements of asteroids
65 million years ago: Asteroid or comet with a diameter of approx. 10 km made the Chicxulub crater (Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico). 75 percent of the Earth’s species, including dinosaurs, have probably become extinct.
50,000 years ago: Asteroid with a diameter of approx. 50 m crashed and formed Barringer Crater in Arizona in the US, with a diameter of 1.2 km and a depth of 175 m.
35 million years ago: Asteroid or comet with a diameter of approx. 5 km created an 80 km crater in Chesapeake Bay on the east coast of the United States. The impact changed many river courses and caused changes in groundwater bodies.
251 million years ago: Asteroid or comet with a diameter of approx. Bedout Crater was located 10 km off the northwest coast of Australia. Probably extinct 90 percent of marine life and perhaps 80 percent of terrestrial life. It probably started violent earthquakes and created global climate change
110 years ago (June 30, 1908): Asteroids or comets with a diameter of about 60 m exploded approx. 8 km over Tunguska, in Siberia, and let the forest flatten in an area of 2,000 km 2. It is estimated that the explosive effect was equivalent to up to 10 megatons, that is, like 500 Hiroshima bombs.
Source: Norske Lexicon shop
“Snow” the earth in 2029
According to NASA, Apophis will clear the earth at a distance of 32,000 kilometers in just over eight years. It may sound very far away, but the asteroid will be closer to Earth than many geosynchronous satellites, that is, satellites that go in a synchronous orbit around the Earth with an orbital period of about a day. .
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Using a powerful telescope and radar, NASA has managed to summarize a relatively clear image of the asteroid while it was 17 million kilometers from Earth, which is equivalent to 44 times the distance between Earth and the Moon.
“If we had binoculars as powerful as this radar, we could be sitting in Los Angeles reading the menu at a New York restaurant,” NASA scientist Marina Brozovic said in a statement.
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