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Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:01 PM

Apophis asteroid: Large space rock flies past Earth

Source: BBC

9 January 2013 Last updated at 15:25 GMT

Apophis asteroid: Large space rock flies past Earth

By Rebecca Morelle
Science reporter, BBC World Service

A 300m-wide asteroid is making a close pass to the Earth.

Apophis - named after the Egyptian demon of destruction and darkness - has been put on a watch list by scientists.

They have calculated that in 2036 there is a very small chance it could collide with our planet.

However, its current fly-by is at a safe distance of about 14 million km - but this is close enough for astronomers to study the space rock and assess its future risk.

-snip-

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20961003

6 replies, 901 views

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Reply Apophis asteroid: Large space rock flies past Earth (Original post)
Eugene Jan 2013 OP
Flashmann Jan 2013 #1
leftyohiolib Jan 2013 #2
longship Jan 2013 #3
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 #4
David J Spetch Jan 2013 #5
muriel_volestrangler Jan 2013 #6

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:13 PM

1. in 2036 there is a very small chance it could collide with our planet.

Oh NOES!!!!....Better get more guns!!!.....

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Response to Eugene (Original post)


Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 03:04 PM

3. Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer, on Apophis...

His TEDx talk, all about this:


He does manage to get one thing wrong here. When Apophis makes its closest approach on April 13, 2036, it will be a Sunday, not a Friday. (Thank you Unix cal command.) Apophis' closest approach to Earth in 2029 will also be on April 13 -- a mere coincidence -- which will be on a Friday.

Science is very cool! Dr. Plait makes it fun, too.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:23 AM

4. 'Doomsday' Asteroid That Could Crash Into Earth

'Doomsday' Asteroid That Could Crash Into Earth

An asteroid named after the Egyptian god of death which has a chance of hitting Earth is much bigger than previously thought.

8:56am UK, Thursday 10 January 2013


Astronomers following the so-called "doomsday" asteroid Apophis which could collide with Earth have discovered it is 20% bigger than previously thought.

Previous estimates put the asteroid's average diameter at 270 metres (877 feet) representing a mass that would equal the energy release of a 506-megatonne bomb, according to Nasa figures.

The European Space Agency (ESA) said its Herschel telescope had scanned the space rock as it headed towards its closest fly-by with the planet in years on Wednesday.

In a two-hour observation, Herschel returned a diameter of 325 metres (1,056 feet), with a range of 15 metres (48.75 feet) either way, the ESA said.

More:
http://news.sky.com/story/1035995/doomsday-asteroid-that-could-crash-into-earth

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 08:19 AM

5. Sweet

 

Knowing this gives me a warm fuzzy kind of feeling

/ David

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:15 AM

6. NASA: no chance of a 2036 impact

Astronomers surely enjoy dramatic stories as much as the rest of us. But today they played spoilers with the welcome announcement that the sizable Earth-crossing asteroid 99942 Apophis will pose no threat when it comes near our planet in 2036.

Right now Apophis is in the midst of a rather distant yet much-awaited pass in Earth's vicinity, coming within 9 million miles (14 million km) earlier today. It's been tracked for about a week by NASA's 230-foot (70-m) Goldstone radio/radar dish in California, and those observations have given astronomers the confidence to issue an "all clear" for the foreseeable future.

"Goldstone single-pixel observations of Apophis have ruled out the potential 2036 Earth impact," says Jon Giorgini, a dynamicist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Based on revised orbit calculations, he says Apophis will then come no closer than about 14 million miles and more likely miss us by something closer to 35 million miles. Moreover, the radar data have improved the asteroid's positional uncertainty so much that dynamicists can now accurately predict its trajectory decades into the future.

"We're observing it at 75-meter resolution, which is better than we expected," notes Lance Benner (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), who's leading the radar effort. "The signal-to-noise ratios are a bit stronger than we thought they'd be, so the radar astrometry is more precise than we expected."

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/news/Asteroid-Apophis-Takes-a-Pass-in-2036-186245171.html

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