Technology

Apophis NEO: a “Likely” Impact on Earth in 2068?

Apophis is a large near-Earth asteroid: at 45 million tons and 325 meters in diameter, it has the right dimensions to be the star of a future disaster film. On April 13, 2029, Apophis will be 32,000 kilometers from our earth, a distance so short that the monster should be perfectly visible to the naked eye. After this date, the NEO 2068 will touch the earth again. And this time there is a little problem.

During a conference of the Department of Planetary Sciences organized by the American Astronomical Society (AAS), NASA astronomer Davide Farnocchia specified that Apophis’ trajectory deviated from a “strictly gravitational” orbit and was actually approaching Earth at a speed of 170 meters each Year. This unstoppable approach is said to be due to the “Yarkovsky acceleration effect”, a complex astrophysical phenomenon. There would be nothing to fear a priori for 2029, but scientists are a little less confident about the 2068 appointment. Astronomer Dave Tholen even believes that we can no longer rule out the scenario of a collision likely ”. Even if the likelihood of shock increases by a small step, most scientists believe that the latter would remain on the order of the tiny.

In the worst case scenario, all would not be lost, although Bruce Willis may no longer be there to save the earth. In fact, for several years, NASA has been working on a technology to deflect the trajectory of a giant near-Earth machine that is traveling too close to Earth. It might be time to go to the prototype …