It seems a tradition to make big headlines when a new asteroid approaches Earth. Social networks are on fire and everyone remembers the asteroid that seems to have killed off the dinosaurs.
In the case of Apophis, 99942 for its intimates, it is true that it is the object with the most probability of impact, even if they are very distant. Also the name doesn’t help. Apophis is the God of Chaos or the forces of evil of the Egyptians, which is certainly perfect for making big headlines.
Nor does its astronomical rating help: NASA classifies some Near Earth Objects as “potentially dangerous.” The cocktail is served to create alarming assumptions.
In 2008 the false news spread that a boy had corrected NASA’s calculations and that the orbit would impact the Earth, to further complicate matters.
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