99942 Apophis asteroid

99942 Apophis asteroid could end life on earth in 2068

Scientists have predicted that 99942 Apophis asteroid strike the earth in 2068 and wipe out the whole planet. But chances of impacting to earth are still very low. The probability of striking is 1 in 1,50,000.

The asteroid is 360-meter in diameter and has 26.99 billion kg in weight. Scientists discovered it on June 19, 2004. The planet will also pass near to the earth on April 13, 2029, and 2036. In 2029, and 2036, the chances of striking earth are almost 0, but the asteroid is experiencing a slightly orbital change due to the Yarkovsky effect. Due to that orbital change, it is possible that 99942 Apophis could strike the earth.

The Yarkovsky effect is caused by the sun. As the sun heats on side of an asteroid, the heat radiates from the side of the asteroid and pushes it against the asteroid tilting its orbit.

What scientists are saying

“The Apophis close approach in 2029 will be an incredible opportunity for science,” said Marina Brozović, a radar scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, who works on radar observations of near-Earth objects (NEOs). “We’ll observe the asteroid with both optical and radar telescopes. With radar observations, we might be able to see surface details that are only a few meters in size.”

The structure and composition of 99942 Apophis

It is an S-type or Sony-type asteroid and made of silicate, nickel, and iron. It has two elongated lobes. The asteroid completes an orbit around the sun in less than a year (0.9 years). In 2029, it is expected that it will safely pass close to Earth — within 19,794 miles (31,860 kilometers) from our planet’s surface. The asteroid can be seen as a fast-moving object from Europe and Africa.