In December 2004 Apophis was shaping up to be a major concern, but is that still the case now ?
As the 325m wide asteroid swings around for another close pass, astronomers have been taking the opportunity to continue learning as much as possible about what was once considered to be the most dangerous object in the sky. When it was discovered in 2004 it looked as if there was a 1 in 300 chance of a collision with the Earth, prompting NASA to ask astronomers to record their observations in an effort to help refine this figure. At one point the odds worsened to 1 in 45.
Fortunately we now know that the odds of a collision are much, much smaller with the chance of a 2036 hit at 1 in 7,143,000. Even so, Apophis is still an object of great interest and due to its orbit is something we will be hearing a lot more about in the coming decades.
"Asteroid Apophis arrives this week for a close pass of Earth."
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Source: Guardian Unlimited
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