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NASA revealed that the near-Earth object that was thought to collide with our planet in 2068, is no longer a threat for at least the next 100 years.
And the US Space Agency announced this week that the new observations of the 230-foot-long telescope ruled out any chance of the Apophis asteroid hitting the Earth in 2068, which is the same 340-meter-high space rock that passed the Earth earlier this month. It was assumed to be frighteningly close in 2029 and again in 2036 from Earth.
Scientists ruled out any chance of collision during these two close approaches for some time. But they assumed a possible collision in 2068.
The recent passage of “Apophis” near Earth allowed the US Space Agency to estimate the orbit of the space rock around the sun, and revealed that “the impact of 2068 is no longer in the world of possibilities.”
Scientists discovered “Apophis” for the first time on June 19, 2004, at the Kit Peck National Observatory in Arizona, and since then, scientists have been tracking every movement of it as it orbits around the sun, which completes it in less than one year on Earth.
The width of Apophis, named after the ancient Egyptian god of chaos, is more than 1,000 feet, and will have an effect equivalent to 880 million tons of TNT that detonates in one go.
When Apophis passed Earth around March 5, scientists gathered data to find out more about the space rock’s path.
David Varnoquia of the NASA Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), which is run by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, said in a statement Friday, March 26: “The impact of 2068 is not in the range of possibilities anymore, and our calculations do not show any. Collision risk over the next hundred years at least. “
Asteroid 99942 Apophis is no longer deemed a threat. On March 5 during a safe and distant flyby, the astronomers got a chance to perform radars to define its orbit around the Sun and confidently ruled out any impact risk for at least a century. https://t.co/gqvkZfylhOpic.twitter.com/AIgZln1KiW
– NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) March 26, 2021
A team of NASA scientists used the powerful radio antenna at the Goldstone Deep Space Communications complex of the Deep Space Network near Barstow, California, to accurately track Apophis’s movement.
Scientists were able to follow Apophis’ orbit around the sun thanks to radar observations earlier this month, when the asteroid passed within 17 million kilometers.
Apophis will reach a distance of 32,000 km on April 13, 2029, which will enable astronomers to get a good look at the space rock.
Source: Fox News