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An enormous asteroid that could strike the Earth in 2028 is making its first pass near the planet this week, and doomsayers are using it as proof we need to build a planetary defense system.
The potentially killer space rock measures about a mile in diameter and will pass safely outside the moon’s orbit this week, but it’s scheduled to return again sometime in 2028 when it will be much closer to Earth.
Dubbed 1997 XF11, the meandering asteroid will pass close to 27 million miles from Earth this week, along with several other space rocks scheduled to come near the planet. Next time, however, its orbit will be much more erratic, making it more likely to strike the planet and cause an extinction level event.
Russia is planning to shoot Cold War-era ballistic missiles at any asteroid near enough to threaten the planet. It’s the country most affected by falling space rocks; almost every 50 years Russian cities have been damaged by asteroids. The last one came in 2013 when a 65-foot-wide rock dropped out of the Chelyabinsk sky and injured more than 1,000 people, causing thousands of dollars in damage.
On October 26, 2028, the near-Earth asteroid 1997 XF11 will make a close approach to Earth. Although initial reports indicated an extremely close passage, the current analyses predict an approach distance of 0.00636 AU (951,000 km, 591,000 mi) or about 2.5 times farther than the moon. The probability that the asteroid will impact the Earth is effectively zero.
The asteroid's orbit was derived from about 100 observations taken since that time as well as 4 pre-discovery observations taken in 1990 by Eleanor Helin, Ken Lawrence, and Brian Roman as a part of the Palomar Planet Crossing Asteroid Survey.
originally posted by: Bigburgh
Here's the official NASA write up.
"On October 26, 2028, the near-Earth asteroid 1997 XF11 will make a close approach to Earth. Although initial reports indicated an extremely close passage, the current analyses predict an approach distance of 0.00636 AU (951,000 km, 591,000 mi) or about 2.5 times farther than the moon. The probability that the asteroid will impact the Earth is effectively zero."
Apep (/ˈæˌpɛp/ or /ˈɑːˌpɛp/) or Apophis (/ˈæpəfᵻs/; Ancient Greek: Ἄποφις; also spelled Apepi or Aapep) was the ancient Egyptian deity who embodied chaos (ı͗zft in Egyptian) and was thus the opponent of light and Ma'at (order/truth). He appears in art as a giant serpent. His name is reconstructed by Egyptologists as *ʻAʼpāpī, as it was written ꜥꜣpp(y) and survived in later Coptic as Ⲁⲫⲱⲫ Aphōph. Apep was first mentioned in the Eighth Dynasty, and he was honored in the names of the Fourteenth Dynasty king 'Apepi and of the Greater Hyksos king Apophis.