Skip to comments.Asteroid Apophis Could Still Hit Earth in 2068, New Measurements Suggest
Posted on 10/28/2020 6:09:01 AM PDT by MtnClimber
Only a small handful of objects are known to pose a serious threat to Earth, and the gigantic asteroid Apophis is one of them. Scientists are now re-evaluating its potential to strike our planet in 48 years, owing to improved observations of the problematic asteroid.
Observations made earlier this year from the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii are providing astronomers with a better sense of how the Yarkovsky effect is influencing the orbital path of asteroid 99942 Apophis. This effect is like a built-in propulsion system for asteroids, in which trace amounts of leaking radiation can alter an objects momentum in space, causing it to drift ever-so-slightly from the path otherwise chosen by gravity.
Without taking Yarkovsky drift into account, Apophis is still a threatening object, just not in 2068, Dave Tholen, a researcher from the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii and a co-author of the pending study, explained in an email. With Yarkovsky taken into account, the 2068 impact scenario is still in play. Small, but non-zero.
Tholen, along with Davide Farnocchia from NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory, crunched the new numbers, finding that Yarkovsky acceleration is keeping the Apophis threat inside the 2068 window. Their findings are laid out in new research presented at the 2020 virtual meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society.
A collision with Earthas improbable as it appears to bewould be seriously bad. Apophis, packed with nickel and iron, measures over 1,000 feet (300 meters) wide, or over three football fields, if thats how you like to picture it. An impact with the surface would release the equivalent of 1,151 megatons of TNT. Such a calamitous event happens on Earth around once every 80,000 years.
We could easily nudge it into a safe orbit, but the left would probably object to interfering with nature.
Apophis? I thought SG-1 killed that guy.
And I was looking forward to seeing my 109th birthday
No, that was Captain Kirk .................
I'm sure the orbit of this thing started a few million years ago, so 50 years of ANYTHING human will be of no effect.
Eat, drink and be merry.
I’ll be 116 - a man ain’t supposed to know his death date in advance...
I will be long gone by then.
Apophis. Last of the System Lords to stand against me. What have you to say to your new sovereign?
May your reign last days, and your death, years.
That’s actually rather good, isn’t it? Did you plan to say that when you walked in? [Ba’al cuts off the top of Apophis’ head] Or was it just off the top of your head?
President Baron Trump will know what to do with it.
Just in time for my 130th birthday.
I’ll only be 118. We should all get together for one big last party. Be sure to wear your mask and we have to stay 23 ft apart by then.
I’d be 115 by then so I guess I’m OK
——the path otherwise chosen by gravity———
Gravity is the law, not a choice.
The orbit is imposed by various masses in space
So why are we talking about green new deals and global warming? Dont you think we should wait before spending trillions of dollars? Everything could be green and perfect and then BAM...an asteroid hits it. Bummer!
I’ll be 116, alive or more likely, dead. Either way it’s unlikely I’ll care much.
Will the FReepers of 2068 be able to access this thread from the archives?
That was Apollo. Get your pantheons straight.
And Kirk didnt kill him. He sort of committed suicide
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