Tag Archives | Apophis
The chances that your tombstone will read “Killed by Asteroid” are about the same as they’d be for “Killed in Airplane Crash.” Solar System debris rains down on Earth in vast quantities — more than a hundred tons of it a day. Most of it vaporizes in our atmosphere, leaving stunning trails of light we call shooting stars. More hazardous are the billions, likely trillions, of leftover rocks — comets and asteroids — that wander interplanetary space in search of targets. Most asteroids are made of rock. The rest are metal, mostly iron. Some are rubble piles — gravitationally bound collections of bits and pieces. Most live between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter and will never come near Earth.
More interesting news from Russia to set your mind at ease. Via the Guardian:
… Read the rest
Space scientists in Russia are preparing to boldly go where no man has gone before, except for the actor Bruce Willis.
The head of the Russian space agency said today that it was considering a Hollywood-style mission to send a spacecraft to bump a large asteroid from a possible collision course with Earth.
Anatoly Perminov told the Russian radio station Golos Rossii: “People’s lives are at stake. We should pay several hundred million dollars and build a system that would allow us to prevent a collision, rather than sit and wait for it to happen and kill hundreds of thousands of people.”
The mission would be aimed at an asteroid called Apophis, he said, which is expected to pass close to the Earth in 2029 and again in 2036. “Calculations show that it’s possible to create a special-purpose spacecraft within the time we have, which would help avoid the collision.
While NASA has just launched its WISE warning system for Near Earth Objects, the Russians are planning to actually do something about one that has been variously forecast to hit us in 2029, 2036 or 2068, Apophis (reported at Yahoo News/AP):
… Read the rest
Russia’s space chief said Wednesday his agency will consider sending a spacecraft to a large asteroid to knock it off its path and prevent a possible collision with Earth.
Anatoly Perminov said the space agency will hold a meeting soon to assess a mission to Apophis, telling Golos Rossii radio that it would invite NASA, the European Space Agency, the Chinese space agency and others to join the project once it is finalized.
When the 270-meter (885-foot) asteroid was first discovered in 2004, astronomers estimated the chances of it smashing into Earth in its first flyby in 2029 were as high as 1-in-37.
Further studies ruled out the possibility of an impact in 2029, when the asteroid is expected to come no closer than 18,300 miles (29,450 kilometers) above Earth’s surface, but they indicated a small possibility of a hit on subsequent encounters.
Rachel Courtland writes in New Scientist that the asteroid Apophis, previously thought to be on course for impact with Earth in 2036, is now more likely to hit us in 2068. (As an aside, Alexandra Bruce writes about Apophis and other Near Earth Objects (NEOs) that we may like to worry about in the disinformation book 2012: Science or Superstition.) From New Scientist:
… Read the rest
The chances of the asteroid Apophis hitting Earth in 2036 are lower than we thought. But those worried about deep impacts should add a new entry to their calendar: 2068.
When Apophis was first spotted in 2004, the 250-metre-wide rock was briefly estimated to have a 2.7 per cent chance of hitting Earth in 2029. Further observations quickly showed that it will miss Earth that year – but should it pass through a 600-metre-wide “keyhole” in space, it will return to hit Earth in 2036.
For the past several years, the probability of such a collision has been considered to be 1 in 45,000.