Asteroid ‘Apophis’ predicted to skim dangerously close to Earth in 2029
by Staff Writers
Moscow (Sputnik) Jan 04, 2022
Earlier, NASA said that Apophis – the poster child for “hazardous asteroids” – was no longer deemed a threat for Earth based on a refined estimate of its orbit around the Sun.
Asteroid 99942 Apophis, estimated to measure 340 meters (1,100 ft) across and identified by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as one of the most hazardous asteroids that could impact Earth, will close in on our planet in the spring of 2029.
The forecast, issued by the All-Russian Institute for Research of Civil Defense of the Emergencies Ministry of Russia, says that the asteroid will skim past Earth at a distance at which geostationary satellites are placed in orbit (approximately 35,700 km).
The event is predicted to take place shortly after Cosmonautics Day – 13 April 2029. With a diameter of around 400 meters, the space rock will be hurtling past with an estimated velocity of 7.42 kilometers per second.
According to experts’ calculations, if the asteroid were to directly impact Earth, the released energy would amount to 1,717 megatons – 30 times that of the Soviet thermonuclear bomb, tested in 1961.
“The earthquake within a radius of ten kilometers from the site of impact may reach 6.5 points on the Richter scale, with wind speed of at least 790 meters per second,” says the forecast.
After its discovery in 2004, asteroid 99942 Apophis had been identified as one of the most hazardous asteroids that could potentially hit Earth.
However, the impact assessment changed as astronomers tracked Apophis using the 70-metre (230-foot) radio antenna at the Deep Space Network’s Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex near Barstow, California.
The US space agency NASA confirmed in 2021 that Earth was deemed “safe” from the space traveler for the next 100 years at least.
To continue to read this article, please click the link below…