“NASA has released some great news for humankind in general, as asteroid Apophis will not impact the Earth on 2036 causing mass destruction, as it was first projected. Although the projectile will fly close to this planet, it will not clash with Earth as the odds of impact are less than one in a million.
“Back in 2004 when the infamous asteroid was first discovered, the probabilities of impact were of 2.7%, a scary number that had scientists at NASA and at different scientific organizations worldwide, like the European Space Agency (), working to collect as much data as possible about this phenomenon before 2029, the year in which hypothetically, a second ‘big bang’ would occur.
commented NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office Manager, Don Yeomans. The data that made this discovery possible was gathered by different entities like the Pan-STARRS of the University of Hawaii, the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and the Goldstone Solar System Radar in California, all of which were studying the probabilities of this asteroid collision on Earth through optical observatories.
“The asteroid 99942 Apophis- which is the official name given to this celestial body in honor of the ancient Egyptian deity of darkness, will get as close as 31 thousand kilometers from Earth during its travel through space. That is 1/12 of the distance between our planet and its satellite, the moon.
“Astronomers have also discovered that the asteroid is in fact, 20% bigger than initially thought. Using data from the European Herschel Space Observatory it has been determined that the asteroid has an actual size of more than 1000 feet. The previous estimate gave it a size of about 885 feet.