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Asteroid Apophis Has One in 100,000 Chance of Hitting Earth, Expert Estimates

12 Aug 2017, 19:05 UTC
Asteroid Apophis Has One in 100,000 Chance of Hitting Earth, Expert Estimates
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The huge nearly 400-meter wide asteroid Apophis is still on a list of hazardous near-Earth objects (NEOs), regarded as a potential threat to our planet. However, new calculations made by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) scientist, show that Apophis’ odds of Earth impact are lower than previously estimated.“We cannot yet exclude the possibility that it could impact our planet, but we can calculate that the chance of Earth impact is only a 1-in-100-thousand over the next century, which of course is extremely small,” Paul Chodas, Manager of JPL’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies told Astrowatch.net.Discovered in 2004, asteroid Apophis is slated to fly by our planet on April 13, 2029. Initial observations of this space rock indicated that it has one in 36 chance of hitting the Earth on that day, but additional monitoring of Apophis completely ruled out this possibility.However, Alberto Cellino of the Observatory of Turin in Italy told Astrowatch.net in June, that although the potential impact in 2029 was excluded, we cannot rule out such event in more distant future. Given the fact that NEO orbits are chaotic, what is not dangerous today can become a candidate impactor in the future.That is why astronomers, including Chodas, ...

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