Asteroid Apophis 2029

Asteroid Apophis 2029 :  How It Concerns You

All over the world, various concerns are being raised here and there about Apophis – the asteroid that is projected to come very close to a vital collision with earth by the year 2029. Although, many scientists at the moment are of the opinion that there is no immediate threat that asteroid Apophis 2029 will hit the earth, or that it will move very close in relation to space distances. However, it is believe that if Apophis does come within close distance of about 20,000 miles of earth, it could do harm to satellites situated in the Clarks Belt. Some of these satellites are used for government operation, intelligent gathering, and military warfare. Also, these satellites are used for commercial, communication, weather, and entertainment purposes. Somehow, the possible damage to satellites by asteroid Apophis 2029 is a bit hard to predict.

Discussion on Apophis gained momentum when many countries in the Indian Ocean were devastated by Tsunamis in December 2004. Prior to that time some asteroids that were identified were given a number and a letter, but they never went beyond the monitoring of a few scientists and astronomers. But, asteroid Apophis who derived its name from the ancient Egyptian god of darkness and evil has raised serious concerns among scientists ever since its discovery. Apophis’ odds are calculated at 1 in 45,000 chances that there may be a collision with the earth in the year 2029. Though, this fact may somehow be comforting, what the future holds is bleak and it is still a subject of debate among many people. Among some well-known asteroid researchers,, there is a believe that earths’ gravitational influence in this close encounter with Apophis may likely cause it to collide with earth 7 years later in the year 2036.

Jon Giorgini, a senior analyst in JPL’s Solar System Dynamics Group, who led the study of asteroid Apophis discovered that solar energy can cause between 20 and 740 km (12 and 460 miles) of change in position over the next 22 years leading up to the year 2029 earth encounter with Apophis. He also discovered that in about 7 years later, the estimated position of Apophis can grow to between 520,000 and 30 million km (that is 323,000 and 18.6 million miles). This estimated range makes it rather hard to predict if Apophis will even have a close shave with earth in 2036 when the orbital paths are likely to intersect.

However, it should be noted that there were difficulties predicting the orbits of asteroids, especially, when they were first revealed. At the time Apophis was discovered in 2004, it was estimated to possess a 2.7% chance of having impact on the Earth in 2029. More subsequent studies of the orbit revealed that there was no impact risk in 2029, but that there will likely be a close approach. Studying the impact and possibilities of asteroids collision is challenging and asteroid Apophis 2029 provide a good example. Some measurements carried out by the Arecibo planetary radar telescope in 2005 and 2006 did not subscribe to the possibility of an impact. Rather, the measurements enhanced the predicted location in 2029 to within 2%. Nevertheless, the measurement still revealed a small estimated chance of impact (1 in 45,000) by April 13, 2036.

In conclusion, though, asteroids, meteorites and comets are all present with us, most of them pose no threat to the earth. However, some asteriods that are more than 15 m (500 ft) in diameter and generally have orbits that cross earth or come close to earth, (0.05 AU, roughly 7,480.000 km or 4,650,000 mi), are seen as Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs).


Asteroid Apophis 2029

Discussion on Apophis gained momentum when many countries in the Indian Ocean were devastated by Tsunamis in December 2004.