For anyone thinking up the end of the world, NASA has just announced that asteroid 99942 Apophis – which was identified back in 2004, will NOT pose a risk to Earth for at least 100 years…
New data confirm Earth is safe from #asteroid Apophis for next 100+ years. Apophis was previously identified as one of the most potentially hazardous asteroids, but new radar observations have ruled that out. Just another day for @NASA #PlanetaryDefense! https://t.co/RMhuLQyHrZ pic.twitter.com/Q5A0RAfFUY
— NASA Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) March 26, 2021
Back in 2004, Apophis – named after the Egyptian god of chaos and destruction – was one of the most hazardous asteroids, with predictions it could get close to Earth in 2029. Turns out, with another anxiety-inducing flyby scheduled for 2036.
But don’t worry! Turns out the Earth will be safe from the asteroid in the year 2068, as NASA’s centre for Near-Earth Object Studies’ Davide Farnocchia has confirmed.
On March 21, an asteroid named 2011 FO32 will safely pass by Earth, with its closest approach being a distance of about 1.23 million miles. There is no threat of a collision with our planet now or for centuries to come.
— NASA (@NASA) March 11, 2021
‘This 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.’, he added.
According to NASA, Apophis is a relic of the solar system’s early formation over 4 BILLION years ago (yep) and is estimated to be 1,120 feet long, so would undoubtedly cause destruction if it hit Earth.
While it won’t be hitting Earth on April 13th, 2029, it will be visible to anyone in the Eastern Hemisphere, which Franocchia is looking forward to because of ‘the science we might uncover during its close approach in 2029’.