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Home / Science / The asteroid Apophis, nicknamed the “God of Chaos”, is accelerating

The asteroid Apophis, nicknamed the “God of Chaos”, is accelerating



Scientists recently revealed that an asteroid named after the Egyptian god of chaos is accelerating.

The huge, 1,120-foot-wide space rock scientifically known as 99942 Apophis will fly within 23,441 miles above the earth’s surface on April 13, 2029 and 2036. However, it may be caused by the passing of space rocks in 2068. Due to the Yarkowski effect, its previously predicted orbit slightly changed, which aroused discussion among scientists.

One of the authors of the study, astronomer Dave Tholen at the University of Hawaii’s School of Astronomy, said in a statement: “For some time, we have known that it is impossible to cause damage to the Earth during close observations in 2029 “The impact.” “The new observations we obtained with the Subaru telescope earlier this year are sufficient to reveal Yabowski’s Jabowski acceleration. They show that the asteroid drifts about 1

70 meters from a pure gravitational orbit each year, enough to maintain The 2068 impact scenario is working.”

The asteroid Apophis was discovered on June 19, 2004.  (UH/IA)

The asteroid Apophis was discovered on June 19, 2004. (UH/IA)

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Tholen, who has been tracking Apophis since 2004, presented this discovery at the 2020 Virtual Conference of the Planetary Science Division of the American Astronomical Society. His comments can be found in the 22-minute video.

The statement added that the Yarkovsky effect or Yarkovsky acceleration is caused by the uneven heating of space rocks by the sun, and the result is “slightly changing the process of the asteroid’s orbit.”

The chance of 99942 Apophis hitting the Earth is still low-previously calculated by the Center for Near-Earth Studies, it is about 1 in 150,000-but this is enough to make scientists pause their attention.

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In 2019, SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that although the asteroid is a “big name”, he does not have to worry about this “special” asteroid.

But he warned that “a big rock will eventually hit the earth, and we can’t do anything about it.”

The size of 99942 Apophis and its proximity to the Earth make it a Near-Earth Object (NEO), in which case it is a “potentially dangerous” object.

(University of Hawaii)

According to NASA, “potentially dangerous” near-Earth objects are defined as space objects within 0.05 astronomical units and over 460 feet in diameter. According to Planetary.org’s 2018 report, there are more than 18,000 NEOs.

NASA announced a 20-page plan in 2018, which details the steps the United States should take to better prepare for near-Earth objects, such as asteroids and comets 30 million miles from Earth .

A recent survey showed that Americans prefer space programs that focus on potential impacts of asteroids rather than sending humans back to the moon or Mars.

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NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine stated in April 2019 that an asteroid impact is not an understatement and may be the biggest threat to the Earth.

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