Skip to comments.Asteroid Apophis Just Got Supersized
Posted on 02/09/2014 2:45:38 PM PST by SunkenCiv
...asteroid 99942 Apophis is actually bigger than we thought. In fact, its been supersized by 20 percent.
Asteroid Apophis catapulted to fame in 2004 when a study predicted a 2.7 percent chance of Earth impact in April 2029. Since then, the threat level has been downgraded. However, the space rock will still make a very close pass with our planet, coming within 22,364 miles (36,000 kilometers), zooming below the orbit of geostationary satellites. But Apophis orbit is a bit tricky as it will make yet another close pass in 2036. Although the return trip was also a concern, as of Jan. 9, Apophis impact risk in 2036 has been further reduced to a vanishingly small 1 in 7,143,000.
Although Apophis certainly isnt a substantial risk, it will likely remain in the headlines for some years yet.
So, today, European Space Agency astronomers have announced their findings after using their orbiting infrared observatory to take a look at Apophis as it raced toward closest approach to Earth over the weekend. Today, the asteroid flew safely by at a distance of 9 million miles (14.5 million kilometers, or one-tenth the Earth-sun distance).
Using Herschel data, mission scientists have deduced that Apophis is 1,066 feet (325 meters) wide. Thats 20 percent larger than the previous estimate of 885 feet (270 meters).
The 20 percent increase in diameter, from 270 to 325 m, translates into a 75 percent increase in our estimates of the asteroids volume or mass, said Thomas Müller of the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching, Germany, and lead scientist of the study.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.discovery.com ...
Apophis temperature model using data from Hershel. Temperature scale is in Kelvin. Credit: ESA/Herschel/MACH-11/T.Müller MPE (Germany)
Predicting Apophis’ Earth Encounters in 2029 and 2036
The analysis of Apophis previews situations likely to be encountered with NEAs yet to be discovered: a close approach that is not dangerous (like Apophis in 2029) nonetheless close enough to obscure the proximity and the danger of a later approach (like Apophis in 2036) by amplifying trajectory prediction uncertainties caused by difficult-to-observe physical characteristics interacting with solar radiation as well as other factors...
The future for Apophis on Friday, April 13 of 2029 includes an approach to Earth no closer than 29,470 km (18,300 miles, or 5.6 Earth radii from the center, or 4.6 Earth-radii from the surface) over the mid-Atlantic, appearing to the naked eye as a moderately bright point of light moving rapidly across the sky. Depending on its mechanical nature, it could experience shape or spin-state alteration due to tidal forces caused by Earth’s gravity field.
This is within the distance of Earth’s geosynchronous satellites. However, because Apophis will pass interior to the positions of these satellites at closest approach, in a plane inclined at 40 degrees to the Earth’s equator and passing outside the equatorial geosynchronous zone when crossing the equatorial plane, it does not threaten the satellites in that heavily populated region.
Using criteria developed in this research, new measurements possible in 2013 (if not 2011) will likely confirm that in 2036 Apophis will quietly pass more than 49 million km (30.5 million miles; 0.32 AU) from Earth on Easter Sunday of that year (April 13).
Big enough to spur catastrophe junkies to predict some crazy impending disaster.
i wunt mind a NEO that was a bit more than a NEO that just kinda sorta scraped a bit of asia off the planet
WELCOME TO FR!!!! (teehee)
by Jerry Pournelle
and Larry Niven
An object about 100 meters across, impacting in Tehran, would pretty much erase a lot of future problems.
and now you know the real story behind the demise of NASA because i think a saturn v could get fat A moochelle as far as tehran
It’s enough to bring on some more wild-eyed talk about various prophetic outcomes, 12th planet, and of course, massive conspiracies by NGO/NWO/Bilderbergers to keep us all in the dark. ;’)
That 2029 pass should be quite an Eiffel, only 18,000 miles up, 1000 feet across, hope we’re on the correct side, and also hope it happens at night so it’ll be easy to spot.
Wait... Has BPEarthwatch heard about this?
This'll give him years of 'You're all gonna die' material... ;-)
99942 Apophis asteroid height jan 10 2013
An object about 100 meters across, impacting in
Tehran Mecca, would pretty much erase a lot of future problems.
That frickin’ thing is stalking us, man.
Apophis was an Egyptian snake god.
Obama wears a snake ring.
I think not.