Latest 99942 Apophis Stories
If a large asteroid such as the recently identified 2004 VD17 -- about 500 miles in diameter with a mass of nearly 1000 million tons -- collides with the Earth it could spell disaster for much of our planet.
Telescope facilities across the world are watching the skies for rocky remnants from outer space on a collision course with planet Earth. Currently one or two of these so called 'Near Earth Objects' [NEOs] are being recorded each day but fortunately for humankind the vast majority are the size of a human fist and pose no threat.
Based on the recommendations of asteroid experts, ESA has selected two target asteroids for its Near-Earth Object deflecting mission, Don Quijote.
Scientists predict a near-miss when Asteroid 99942 Apophis passes Earth in 2029. An asteroid flies this close to the planet only once every 1,300 years. The chance to study it will help scientists deal with the object should it threaten collision with Earth. They will be able to observe how the Earth's gravity will disrupt a massive asteroid's spin.
On April 13th -- Friday the 13th -- 2029, millions of people are going to go outside, look up and marvel at their good luck. A point of light will be gliding across the sky, faster than many satellites, brighter than most stars. What's so lucky about that? It's asteroid 2004 MN4 ... not hitting Earth.
- A volcanic mudflow.