Will asteroid Apophis strike Earth in 2036?

Deborah Byrd OCT 22, 2012

Astronomers are gearing up to observe asteroid Apophis, which will come to within 0.1 A.U. (14,450,000 kilometers; 8,980,000 miles) of Earth in January 2013, and which will come close again in subsequent years with an extremely remote possibility of striking Earth in 2036. In late 2012 and early 2013, Apophis will be observable using both optical and radar equipment. That will be a very exciting time for astronomers, and for the rest of us. The data collected in late 2012 and early 2013 – just months from this writing – are expected to make possible a significant improvement in our understanding of the orbit of Apophis and remove any possibility for an Earth impact on April 13, 2036. However, as David Helfand of Columbia said when EarthSky interviewed him in 2010 on killer asteroids, the risk from Apophis is already essentially zero.

Read more: Will asteroid Apophis strike Earth in 2036? | Space | EarthSky.

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