The large asteroid Apophis, which will graze the Earth in 2029, has its trajectory changed

Everyone has heard, or almost, about Apophis, an asteroid as large as the Eiffel Tower which will graze the Earth in 2029. Without risk of collisions, as the calculations of astronomers have shown. But recent observations are prompting researchers to reassess the risks for his 2068 visit.

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[EN VIDÉO] Apophis, the NEO that will cross the Earth in 2029
The orbit of Apophis before April 2029 (in green) and after (in red). The asteroid is moving between Venus and Earth, whose orbit it will cross that month, which will deviate its path. © Cnes

Since the astronomers discovered, in 2004, that Apophis – (99942) Apophis – is a asteroid potentially dangerous which should graze the Structure of the globe … “data-image =” “data- url = “” data-more = “Read more”>Terre very closely in 2029, 2036, 2068, 2085, 2088 according to their calculations, the celestial body of about 340 meters in diameter has become famous all over the world. For its passage some 31,860 kilometers above our heads, on Friday April 13, 2029 (the date is undoubtedly not unrelated to its fame!) – we will be able to see the sky crossing at theeye nu -, the researchers certify that there is almost no risk of impact with the Earth. So much the better because if it were to rush straight at us, it would do significant damage on a regional scale. But, again, the experts at Nasa do not fear a collision, nor 2029, neither in 2036, nor in 2068.

Although … for this last date, we will have to review the predictions.

Apophis “Moves away from a purely gravitational orbit”

During the meeting Division for Planetary Sciences de l’AAS (American Astronomical Society) which has just been held virtually with the community of researchers, Davide Farnocchia, of The JPL is the main American center for the robotic exploration of … “data-url =” / definitions / univers-jet-propulsion-laboratory-2561 / “data-more =” Read more “>JPL of NASA, presented its latest calculations of the trajectory ofApophis, which take into account the recent discovery of a slight Yarkovsky acceleration effect observed by colleagues at the Japanese Subaru Observatory in Hawaii. This effect linked to thermal radiation is very weak and almost imperceptible, but still sufficient to force scientists to review their copies.

“The new observations […] show that the asteroid is moving away from a orbit purely gravitational of around 170 meters per year, which is enough to keep the 2068 impact scenario probable ” declared Dave Tholen, of the IFA (Institute for Astronomy) at the University of Hawaii, which conducted the observations.

There is no point in panicking, however, as the calculations must be reassessed in the light of future observations of the asteroid’s behavior. Astronomers say we should know if Apophis will or will not be on a collision course with our world well before its visit in 2068. Case to be continued.

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