It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
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.
PASADENA, Calif. - Scientists using the Herschel Space Observatory made new observations of asteroid Apophis as it approached Earth this past weekend. The data show the asteroid to be bigger than first estimated, and less reflective. Discovered in 2004, Apophis was initially thought to have a 2.7 percent chance of impacting Earth in 2029. Additional observations of the asteroid ruled out any possibility of an impact in 2029. However, Apophis is expected to make a record-setting -- but harmless -- close approach to Earth on April 13, 2029, when it comes no closer than 18,300 miles (29,450 kilometers) above Earth's surface. The asteroid will make another approach to Earth in 2036. Data collected by telescopes during today's close approach are expected to refine the asteroid's orbit to the point where an impact in 2036 can be ruled out.
The Herschel Observatory is a European Space Agency mission in which NASA plays an important role.