Apophis, an asteroid that visits our neighborhood regularly, has a chance of hitting us if scenarios considered by Russian scientists play out. The Russians did math that indicated a chance Apophis might hit a “gravitational keyhole” in 2029 that nudges it into Earth’s path in 2036. Apophis is a not likely threat, in accordance with NASA, which is seeking more funding to identify potential killer asteroids.
Course for Apohpis not likely to take place
An Apophis collision with Earth isn’t a recent concept. In 2004, National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientists announced the possibility. The first idea was that Apophis would hit Earth in 2029. It would be the size of a cruise ship too. The chance of Apophis hitting Earth was ruled out though when more of an investigation was put into it. Last month Russian astronomers said that during its 2029 fly-by, Apophis could pass by way of a pinpoint in space known as a gravitational keyhole that would alter its course enough to hit the bull’s-eye in 2036. The Russian claim was not denied by any means by a National Aeronautics and Space Administration official. However, it was made clear that the chances are one in 250,000 that Apohpis would pass through the gravitational keyhole.
Apophis impact results
The geosynchronous satellites in orbit will get passed by Apophis in late 2012 coming very near to earth. It will only be 18,000 miles away. When it was first spotted, the odds of an Apophis/Earth collision was calculated at one in 233. Eventually it landed an estimate of one in 45,000. This was after it went to one in 37 and slowly reduced. During the 324 day orbit around the sun, it can be feasible for something to happen to make the asteroid hit Earth. Then, 510 megatons of collision energy from the 27,000 metric ton rock would be released. The explosion would be equivalent to 3,400 times the energy released by the U.S. atomic attack on Hiroshima, Japan in 1945.
Asteroid getting halted
In 2005, Congress responded to the talk about Apophis. This brought on a mandate sent to National Aeronautics and Space Administration saying that by 2020, 90 percent of objects 140 meters in diameter or more near earth had to be discovered. Right now, National Aeronautics and Space Administration spend over $4 million a year. This is just for the one project. Finding all asteroids that might hit Earth is not enough though. Preventing them is more important to do. There is the technology to do it, in accordance with previous astronaut Rusty Schweickart. He is an advocate of asteroid deflection research. The hard part is fostering the international cooperation required to save Earth when the time comes.
How Close is Apophis
Source of article – NASA: Russian claims of Apophis collision with Earth exaggerated by MoneyBlogNewz,