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Zero chance infamous Apophis collides with another asteroid
manuchandelDate: Tuesday, 02-April-2024, 1:20 AM | Message # 1
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'Zero chance' infamous Apophis collides with another asteroid, redirects to Earth

by Jeff Renaud, University of Western Ontario

When it was first discovered in 2004, Apophis was identified as one of the most dangerous asteroids in that there was a risk that it could impact Earth. But that impact assessment changed over the years after astronomers tracked Apophis, also known as asteroid 99942, and its orbit became better determined, and it became clear that it was on course to miss our planet.

A new study led by Western astronomer Paul Wiegert posits what would happen if Apophis' orbit changed after a collision with another asteroid. Spoiler alert: it won't.

A near-Earth object (NEO), estimated to be about 335 meters across, Apophis is infamous for its upcoming close passes to Earth, expected in 2029 and 2036. (It's expected to pass within 37,399 kilometers on April 13, 2029 safely.)

While scientists have long since determined that the asteroid will miss the Earth safely on these occasions, Wiegert and collaborator Benjamin Hyatt from the University of Waterloo cautiously computed the paths of all 1.3 million known asteroids in the solar system to rule out the possibility that Apophis could strike another asteroid, redirecting its predicted path towards Earth.

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