Asteroid Close Approach in 2029

In Asteroid Headed our way they say that if the most probably trajectory is followed, its orbit will be altered for impact in 2036. This is all well and good except as with all of these models, they don’t tell you about all of the previously innaccurate measurements they had which suggested nothing of the sort. This just happens to be the current set of “best-to-date” innaccurate measurements which are newsworthy. Makes for lively debate, I guess… and they say as much.

Earth and Moon showing min/avg/max distance, to scale

3 thoughts on “Asteroid Close Approach in 2029”

  1. As noted in the Wikipedia entry for Apophis, the date in 2029 for closest approach is Friday the 13th of April. Ooooh, ahhh.

    The fact that it is going to be inside geosynchronous orbit says to me that a number of satellites will be toast. Perhaps they can alter their orbits accordingly. I mean, given this much lead time, it should be possible to have all *active* satellites out of its path. But then again, that may lead to a high-orbit congestion nightmare on the other side of the planet! Hahah.

    And what kind of radiation can we expect from such a close pass? Eath’s atmospheric density is paltry out there, but if you boogey through it at several thousand km/s, perhaps there will be a blast wave of some sort?

  2. I added a couple of graphics to the post. One to show how close the asteroid will get, and another showing the min/avg/max position of the moon w.r.t. the Earth, and to scale w.r.t. their sizes. With these two images together you can see that it will come very close indeed.

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