posted on Jan, 10 2013 @ 10:58 AM
Yesterday Apophis passed by our planet at a distance of about 9 million miles. The Goldstone tracking station in California has been tracking this
asteroid for about the last week now using radar, and those observations have allowed astronomers to refine the orbital determination and rule out any
possibility of an impact in 2036. It will still make a very close pass in 2029, but it turns out that it will be farther from us in 2036 than it was
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.
JPL's NEO threat list website still shows a possibility for 2036 (though it's much lower than it used to be now at about a 1 in 7 million chance),
but the data they're using for the website only takes into account observations up to December 29th as of the last time I checked it a few minutes
Once the new observations are incorporated into the website's data (Goldstone is scheduled to continue observing the asteroid from Jan 3-17th
), that possibility will vanish.