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Originally posted by jexmo
Am I right in thinking that even if it passes us close enough it could cause us problems?
Originally posted by FlyersFan
I'm a girl. Chill girl. But dont worry .. I'm not worked up about it.
In 2004, it was first thought that the asteroid would hit us in the first flyby in 2029. The initial calculation for the orbit was made using only two sets of observations, those made in June and a subsequent set made in December.....
From those observations, astronomers calculated a 1-in-200 chance that the asteroid would hit the Earth. If this was true, then this asteroid had become the most dangerous asteroid ever found. After taking more observations , the chances climbed even higher and by the end of December 2004, the chances of the Earth being struck by this asteroid climbed as high as 1-in-37.
As you may know, when one celestial object passes close to another one, their orbits are altered a bit by the gravitational forces interacting between the two bodies. Since Apophis is much smaller than the Earth (it is 320 meters - or 1050 feet- across), its orbit will be the one affected. As it flies by our humble little planet, its orbit will change....
The flyby will make the orbit a bit bigger and Apophis will travel a bit slower. How much the orbit changes depends on how close it gets to us. If it flies through a specific 610-meter wide region of space as it goes past us in 2029, then Apophis' and the Earth will be in the exact same spot 7 years later on Sunday, April 13th, 2036...
So, what are the chances that Apophis will pass through that tiny region of space? Rest assured that astronomers are observing like crazy to get the best possible estimate. Right now, it stands at 1-in-48,000.
Just for reference, there is a 1-in-354,319 chance that you'll be killed in an airplane accident.
Originally posted by FlyersFan
The asteroid is supposed to come fairly close in December 2012 (gee .. sounds like a familiar date!)
99942 Apophis (pronounced /əˈpɒfɪs/, previously known by its provisional designation 2004 MN4) is a near-Earth asteroid that caused a brief period of concern in December 2004 because initial observations indicated a small probability (up to 2.7%) that it would strike the Earth in 2029. Additional observations provided improved predictions that eliminated the possibility of an impact on Earth or the Moon in 2029. However, a possibility remained that during the 2029 close encounter with Earth, Apophis would pass through a gravitational keyhole, a precise region in space no more than about 600 meters across, that would set up a future impact on April 13, 2036. This possibility kept the asteroid at Level 1 on the Torino impact hazard scale until August 2006, when the probability that Apophis will pass through the keyhole was determined to be very small. Apophis broke the record for the highest level on the Torino Scale, being, for only a short time, a level 4, before it was lowered. Its diameter is approximately 270 meters (885 ft).
Originally posted by Nuker
2036? Pretty sure we'll have a weapon that can blast asteroids out of the way by then
Do you have a source for it being discovered before 2004? If so please post a link.
Originally posted by mileslong54
This has been around for years, I remember reading about this in the 90's.
I just read an article talking about this and say it was discovered in June 2004, bs!!
99942 Apophis (pronounced /əˈpɒfɪs/, previously known by its provisional designation 2004 MN4) is a near-Earth asteroid that caused a brief period of concern in December 2004 because initial observations indicated a small probability (up to 2.7%) that it would strike the Earth in 2029.
Originally posted by robbinsj
[mod edit: added required external source tags]
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Originally posted by cybernetic_dude
reply to post by FlyersFan
I am tired of waiting till 2012, and now I have to wait for 2036 to see the "end of the world" (if I am still living in this planet that long)?
edit on 8-2-2011 by cybernetic_dude because: (no reason given)