Earth is safe from Asteroid Apophis for the next 100 years!4 min readReading Time: 3 minutes
Have you ever binged watched doomsday movies? The one where you sit at the edge of the seat while an astroid hit the earth, creating a massive impact that blows it to pieces or a large tidal wave that envelops an entire nation? Well, apparently those movies weren’t too far off from the truth.
Yeah. I hear you. Recently, there was a collective sigh of relief from the doomsday community and NASA (the real one) because the space organization announced that Asteroid Apophis, an asteroid that was on a likely path towards earth, is not a danger for at least 100 years! Beyond that, well, we have no information yet. So let’s discuss this a little further.
Apophis was discovered in 2004 and at that point, there were predictions that it could strike earth in 2029! This asteroid is quite big, measuring about 1,100 feet wide, but fortunately, although it will pass breathtakingly close to earth in 2029, an impact had been subsequently ruled out…. but that’s not the end of its story.
There was another chance that it may collide with Earth in 2036, which was also disproved. And ANOTHER chance in 2068, which bring us to its current situation. The 2068 prediction has been doing the rounds on the conspiracy theory groups and WhatsApp forwards online for a few years and now, and slowly gaining strength. So, when the asteroid made a close pass near Earth on March 5 this year, astronomers and scientists took to the task of figuring out its orbit and future trajectory.
The Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in Fort Irwin, California, tracked the asteroid for about two weeks after Marsh. Researchers at the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia took observations, coordinating with Goldstone, because the use of these two telescopes together allows the data to be sharper. This coordination between the telescopes and deeper analysis of the data helped astronomers learn how Apophis looked, how fast it spun and where it was headed.
This helped them narrow down quite accurately that there is no danger of impact in 2068.
A 2068 impact is not in the realm of possibility anymore, and our calculations don’t show any impact risk for at least the next 100 years…. greatly improved knowledge of its position in 2029 provides more certainty of its future motion, so we can now remove Apophis from the risk list.Davide Farnocchia, NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies
Yay! Now that we don’t have to actually worry about a giant country-swallowing Tsunami wave, cataclysmic earthquakes or alien invasions (at least for now), here’s our recommended list of Doomsday movies! Grab that popcorn and start that marathon now!