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Apophis asteroid: Large space rock flies past Earth
BBC World Service ^ | 9 January 2013 Last updated at 10:25 ET | Rebecca Morelle

Posted on 01/09/2013 9:29:27 PM PST by BenLurkin

A 300 metre-wide asteroid is making a close pass to the Earth.

Apophis - named after the Egyptian demon of destruction and darkness - has been put on a watch list by scientists.

They have calculated that in 2036 there is a very small chance it could collide with our planet.

However, its current fly-by is at a safe distance of about 14 million km - but this is close enough for astronomers to study the space rock and assess its future risk.

Apophis will not be visible with the naked eye, but space enthusiasts can watch it online via the Slooh space camera's website.

The large rocky mass was first discovered in 2004. At the time, it raised alarm when scientists calculated that it had a one-in-45,000 chance of smashing into the Earth in 2029.

Later revisions, lifted this threat; instead on the Friday 13 April 2029, it will make a close pass at a distance of about 30,000km.

However, astronomers say there is still a one-in-200,000 chance that it could strike Earth in 2036.

Professor Alan Fitzsimmons, an astronomer at Queen's University Belfast, UK, said: "In 2029, it will pass so close to us that Earth's gravity will change its orbit.

"Most of the potential orbits it will end up on will mean we are safe for the next 100 years. But there is a small region of space - something we call a keyhole - and if it passes through that keyhole in 2029, it will come back and hit us on 13 April in 2036."

...

Astronomers are using the current close encounter as an opportunity to study the asteroid, so they can improve their calculations to predict its future path.

(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...


TOPICS: Science
KEYWORDS: apophis; catastrophism

1 posted on 01/09/2013 9:29:32 PM PST by BenLurkin
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To: SunkenCiv

ping


2 posted on 01/09/2013 9:31:30 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: BenLurkin

Memo to self: do not file tax return in 2036.


3 posted on 01/09/2013 9:38:24 PM PST by beethovenfan (If Islam is the solution, the "problem" must be freedom.)
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To: beethovenfan

Asteroid risk is why I always file in Rocktober.


4 posted on 01/09/2013 9:43:37 PM PST by Paladin2
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To: Army Air Corps

http://events.slooh.com/


5 posted on 01/09/2013 9:54:44 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: Paladin2

Plenty of time for something to hit it causing course change.
Makes you wonder why it hasn’t happened yet.
So many opportunities .


6 posted on 01/09/2013 9:58:51 PM PST by Morris70
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To: Morris70

Still, why not go skiing in April and do your taxes later?


7 posted on 01/09/2013 10:01:02 PM PST by Paladin2
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To: BenLurkin

I’d be ok with 2050. No offense to the younglings.


8 posted on 01/09/2013 10:20:40 PM PST by Morris70
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To: BenLurkin

Melancholia


9 posted on 01/09/2013 10:43:15 PM PST by informavoracious (God help us.)
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To: BenLurkin

Dayng it! We are gonna be kilt by a Martian Assault Asteroid!!” We really need to have a meaningful discussion about these violent invaders from outer space!!!


10 posted on 01/09/2013 10:53:45 PM PST by Mobilemitter (We must learn to fin >-)> for ourselves.........)
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To: BenLurkin
2036... looks like I'm booked for that year. Something about ashes interred in a National Cemetary. Sorry. You'll need to manage that on your own.

/johnny

11 posted on 01/09/2013 10:54:18 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: Morris70
Makes you wonder why it hasn’t happened yet.

You raise an interesting point. Right now its orbit intersects, very nearly, the orbit of earth, and the question is one of timing ... being at the same place at the same time along two linear tracks. If this situation were to persist indefinitely, it would have to hit after, say, a few hundred "opportunities", amounting to tens or hundreds of thousands of years, as I guess.

However, the orbit of the earth precesses, as does that of Apophis, presumably, and as their aphelions move, the orbital intersection is eliminated for some much lengthier period of time, so you have this layering effect, with periodic recurrences of eras of periodic close approaches.

Beyond that I assume there are other variations, or "accidents" which create or alter this scenario. Anyway, it seems like we would be doing our distant posterity, if such is fated, a big favor if we would take care of this sucker.

12 posted on 01/09/2013 11:06:54 PM PST by dr_lew
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To: BenLurkin

“They have calculated that in 2036 there is a very small chance it could collide with our planet.”

If it’s the “Wormwood” from Revelation 8:10-11, then the Tribulation will be around 2036, too. That’s actually more time than I was expecting, the way the country is going.


13 posted on 01/09/2013 11:09:52 PM PST by Bizhvywt
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To: informavoracious

“The Vigil”

In a purple vision
Many thousand years ago
I saw the silent stranger
Walk the earth alone

Twenty-seven faces
With their eyes turned to the sky
I’ve got a camera
And an airtight alibi

I know they’re out there
We see them coming
Faster than the speed of light
They greet us in the dead of the night

Somewhere, someday, someone
They’ll be light and sound
They’ll alight on the ground
On which we stand

Somewhere, someday, someone
Will help us to survive
They’re gonna show us hell
And bring us back alive

Well, I’m no poet, but I can’t be fooled
The lies don’t count, the whispers do
I hear the whispers on the wind
They say the earth has fallen due

We run in circles
Our days are numbered
Every night I look away
To the heavens and I pray

Come to us
Come to us

Our lights are dim
Our roads are crumbling
And we don’t know what to do
We’re sick and tired
And dying to meet you
‘Cause we bit off more than
We can chew


14 posted on 01/09/2013 11:20:52 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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15 posted on 01/09/2013 11:49:21 PM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: BenLurkin

I wish it could hit Washington DC now


16 posted on 01/09/2013 11:52:18 PM PST by Democrat_media (media makes mass shooters household names to create more & take our guns)
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To: Democrat_media

Amen.


17 posted on 01/10/2013 12:23:13 AM PST by fattigermaster
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To: Army Air Corps; 75thOVI; agrace; aimhigh; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aragorn; aristotleman; ...
Thanks Army Air Corps for the ping, thanks BenLurkin for the topic. Each time Apophis encounters Earth, it gets a slight trajectory adjustment, and also gives astronomers better data (such as more accurate estimates of its mass) that help refine the ephemeris, iow, whether it is more or less likely to "come on down".



18 posted on 01/10/2013 3:52:16 AM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: Army Air Corps; 75thOVI; agrace; aimhigh; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aragorn; aristotleman; ...
Thanks Army Air Corps for the ping, thanks BenLurkin for the topic. Each time Apophis encounters Earth, it gets a slight trajectory adjustment, and also gives astronomers better data (such as more accurate estimates of its mass) that help refine the ephemeris, iow, whether it is more or less likely to "come on down".



19 posted on 01/10/2013 3:52:57 AM PST by SunkenCiv (Romney would have been worse, if you're a dumb ass.)
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To: BenLurkin

nice name for a harmless piece of rock (sarc)

why don’t they name them after politicians, like “Harry”?


20 posted on 01/10/2013 4:08:13 AM PST by silverleaf (Age Takes a Toll: Please Have Exact Change)
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To: BenLurkin

What happened to next month’s ‘near miss’? I was pinning a lot of hope on that one.


21 posted on 01/10/2013 4:11:16 AM PST by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: BenLurkin

I haven’t heard anything about trying to put a probe on the thing. I assume it would be easy to launch something so that it lands or attaches itself.


22 posted on 01/10/2013 4:52:56 AM PST by RadiationRomeo (Step into my mind and glimpse the madness that is me)
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