Asteroid Apophis Removed from the List of Dangers to Earth

Asteroid Apophis Removed from the List of Dangers to Earth

Sam Wallace, Writer

Ever since an asteroid close to earth nicknamed Apophis after the Egyptian god of chaos and death was found meteorologists have been on constant alert. They believed the asteroid would come very close or even into the earth’s atmosphere in the year 2029 and even hit earth in 2050.

 

When Apophis made a distant flyby of Earth around March 5 astronomers closely followed its path to find the trajectory of the asteroid and found that it would most likely not hit earth for at least 100 years. Although they did also find out that while the asteroid Apophis will not hit earth in 2029 it will actually “pass less than 20,000 miles (32,000 kilometers) from our planet’s surface – closer than the distance of geosynchronous satellites” according to NASA. 

 

The asteroid Apophis is a 1,100 feet across asteroid belt that is shaped like a peanut. Right now it is about 44 times farther away from earth than the moon. Many believe that if the asteroid were to hit the earth it would hit it with the kinetic equivalent of 1,200 megatons of TNT. For a point of reference, a one kiloton nuclear bomb does the equivalent of 1,000 tons of TNT. And one megaton is equivalent to 1000000 tons. According to Wikipedia “The impacts that created Meteor Crater, Arizona about 50,000 years ago and the Tunguska event of 1908 are estimated to be between 3–10 megatons.” The meteor crater is .8 miles wide!