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Apophis less than 0.1 AU from Earth on January 9

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#1 Centaur

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 03:04 PM

Today Asteroid 99942 Apophis made its closest approach to Earth for its current apparition at less than 0.1 AU. There remains a very remote possibility it could collide with Earth in 2036.

Also today the European Space Agency announced that data from its infrared space telescope indicates that the diameter of Apophis is closer to 325 meters rather than the previous estimate of 270 meters.

Meanwhile, I’ve improved my related graphics for this asteroid and other minor bodies to make it clearer when they are north or south of the ecliptic plane: www.CurtRenz.com/asteroids and www.CurtRenz.com/comets

#2 Rick Woods

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 06:01 PM

Curt,
I seem to recall reading that Apophis would have to pass through a very small window of space during its current approach in order to either hit or miss (I can't remember which) Earth in 2036.
Do you know if it actually passed through this window, and what the subsequent outlook is for 2036?

#3 Centaur

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 06:11 PM

Curt,
I seem to recall reading that Apophis would have to pass through a very small window of space during its current approach in order to either hit or miss (I can't remember which) Earth in 2036.
Do you know if it actually passed through this window, and what the subsequent outlook is for 2036?


Rick, it won't pass through the window until 2029. That's when we'll get a better estimate for its path in 2036. During April of both 2029 and 2036 both the Earth and Apophis will be near the orbital crossing near the asteroid's ascending node that you see on my overhead chart. It's distance today of 0.1 AU would not cause a significantly large disturbance in its trajectory.






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