Jakarta I The future of Earth is threatened by an asteroid named Apophis. The object is called the most feared if it hits Earth.
Richard Binzel, professor of planetary science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the asteroid was classified as potentially dangerous. The celestial body has an orbit close to Earth.
“Apophis belongs to the category of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHA). Asteroids with orbits that bring them very close to Earth at this time in the centuries in the future,” said Richard.
“What makes Apophis a potentially dangerous asteroid is that it will make the closest approach to Earth of any major asteroid this decade.”
Apophis has been on the European Space Agency and NASA’s impact risk lists for the past 17 years.
For information, Apophis was found on June 19, 2004. Its inventors were Roy A. Tucker, David J.Tholen, and Fabrizio Bernandi at the National Observation Kitt Peak.
The object has a size of 340 meters consisting of rock and silicate. In addition, Apophis also contains nickel and iron.
But the asteroid won’t be approaching Earth any time soon. Apophis is expected to pass near Earth on April 13, 2029.
At that time, Apophis will be in a trajectory with a distance of 31,000 km from Earth. The chance of an asteroid hitting Earth is only 2.7%, said the PHA agency, but we need to remain vigilant.
Researchers also have a scenario when an asteroid hits Earth. Gareth Collins, a professor in the department of earth science and engineering at Imperial College London, said that Apophis’ speed was about 20 km per second. The asteroid will also release energy of 10 billion joules or like a nuclear explosion.
“About 10,000 times more energy than the Chelyabinsk meteor and more than a million times the energy of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima,” he said.
Worst case scenario, Apophis falls near a human population center or a densely populated coastline. It is said that the asteroid’s destructive power will be greater with secondary effects such as ground shaking, thermal radiation and atmospheric shock waves.***