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Thread: NEO 2004 MN4 - Asteriod 99942 Apophis - Impact with Earth

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    Default Re: NEO 2004 MN4 - Asteriod 99942 Apophis - Impact with Earth

    And, last for now, close encounters of the NEO kind.... something to think about, these are PAST encounters.

    RECENT CLOSE APPROACHES TO EARTH 1 AU = ~150 million kilometers
    1 LD = Lunar Distance = ~384,000 kilometers
    Object
    Name
    Close
    Approach
    Date
    Miss
    Distance
    (AU)
    Miss
    Distance
    (LD)
    Estimated
    Diameter*
    H
    (mag)
    Relative
    Velocity
    (km/s)
    (2010 NH) 2010-Jun-30 0.0067 2.6 21 m - 48 m 25.5 10.24
    (2010 LZ63) 2010-Jun-30 0.1332 51.8 260 m - 580 m 20.0 27.61
    (2010 LN14) 2010-Jul-01 0.1556 60.6 160 m - 350 m 21.1 10.18
    (2005 WE) 2010-Jul-02 0.1321 51.4 320 m - 720 m 19.6 9.29
    (2009 HU44) 2010-Jul-02 0.1479 57.6 84 m - 190 m 22.5 21.46
    (2010 MY1) 2010-Jul-03 0.0203 7.9 44 m - 99 m 23.9 6.87
    (2010 NN) 2010-Jul-03 0.0035 1.4 5.7 m - 13 m 28.4 7.83
    (2010 KU7) 2010-Jul-05 0.1524 59.3 95 m - 210 m 22.2 8.18
    (2010 MJ1) 2010-Jul-05 0.0986 38.4 52 m - 120 m 23.6 9.50
    (2010 NA) 2010-Jul-05 0.1068 41.5 210 m - 470 m 20.5 20.13
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    Default Re: NEO 2004 MN4 - Asteriod 99942 Apophis - Impact with Earth

    Asteroid Missed Earth This Week -What are the Odds We'll Always Be Lucky?

    Stephen Hawking believes that one of the major factors in the possible scarcity of intelligent life in our galaxy is the high probability of an asteroid or comet (image left) colliding with inhabited planets.

    Supporting Hawking's theory, the Earth has had a near miss this week when a huge asteroid whizzed past on Monday, less than 50,000 miles away. The asteroid - about the size of a 10-storey building - flew past the Earth at roughly twice the distance of the highest Earth-orbiting satellites, according to website space.com.
    It is similar in size to a rock that exploded above Siberia in 1908, flattening 80 million trees across an 800 square mile area.
    Asteroid 2009 DD45 was closest to the earth on Monday at around 8.30am, at just under 45,000 miles above the surface of the planet. Astronomers knew it was coming after it was spotted last Saturday as a faint dot showing up in pictures at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. There was never any risk of collision, experts said, but anything flying within 50,000 miles of the Earth is taken very seriously. The closest listed "flyby" to Earth by an asteroid happened in March 2004 when a small one - 2004 FU162 - measuring about 20 feet across came within about 4,000 miles of the earth.
    We have observed, Hawking points out in Life in the Universe, the collision of a comet, Schumacher-Levi, with Jupiter (below), which produced a series of enormous fireballs, plumes many thousands of kilometers high, hot "bubbles" of gas in the atmosphere, and large dark "scars" on the atmosphere which had lifetimes on the order of weeks.
    It is thought the collision of a rather smaller body with the Earth, about 70 million years ago, was responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs. A few small early mammals survived, but anything as large as a human, would have almost certainly been wiped out.
    Through Earth's history such collisions occur, on the average every one million year. If this figure is correct, it would mean that intelligent life on Earth has developed only because of the lucky chance that there have been no major collisions in the last 70 million years. Other planets in the galaxy, Hawking believes, on which life has developed, may not have had a long enough collision free period to evolve intelligent beings.
    “The threat of the Earth being hit by an asteroid is increasingly being accepted as the single greatest natural disaster hazard faced by humanity,” according to Nick Bailey of the University of Southampton's School of Engineering Sciences team, who has developed a threat identifying program.[ Image: Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collision with Jupiter]
    The team used raw data from multiple impact simulations to rank each country based on the number of times and how severely they would be affected by each impact. The software, called NEOimpactor (from NASA's "NEO" or Near Earth Object program), has been specifically developed for measuring the impact of 'small' asteroids under one kilometer in diameter.
    Early results indicate that in terms of population lost, China, Indonesia, India, Japan and the United States face the greatest overall threat; while the United States, China, Sweden, Canada and Japan face the most severe economic effects due to the infrastructure destroyed.
    The top ten countries most at risk are China, Indonesia, India, Japan, the United States, the Philippines, Italy, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Nigeria.
    “The consequences for human populations and infrastructure as a result of an impact are enormous,” says Bailey. “Nearly one hundred years ago a remote region near the Tunguska River witnessed the largest asteroid impact event in living memory when a relatively small object (approximately 50 meters in diameter) exploded in mid-air. While it only flattened unpopulated forest, had it exploded over London it could have devastated everything within the M25. Our results highlight those countries that face the greatest risk from this most global of natural hazards and thus indicate which nations need to be involved in mitigating the threat.”
    What would happen to the human species and life on Earth in general if an asteroid the size of the one that created the famous K/T Event of 65 million years ago at the end of the Mesozoic Era that resulted in the extinction of the dinosaurs impacted our planet.

    As Stephen Hawking says, the general consensus is that any comet or asteroid greater than 20 kilometers in diameter that strikes the Earth will result in the complete annihilation of complex life - animals and higher plants. (The asteroid Vesta, for example, one of the destinations of the Dawn Mission, is the size of Arizona).

    How many times in our galaxy alone has life finally evolved to the equivalent of our planets and animals on some far distant planet, only to be utterly destroyed by an impact? Galactic history suggests it might be a common occurrence.

    The first this to understand about the KT event is that is was absolutely enormous: an asteroid (or comet) six to 10 miles in diameter streaked through the Earth's atmosphere at 25,000 miles an hour and struck the Yucatan region of Mexico with the force of 100 megatons -the equivalent of one Hiroshima bomb for every person alive on Earth today. Not a pretty scenario!

    Recent calculations show that our planet would go into another "Snowball Earth" event like the one that occurred 600 million years ago, when it is believed the oceans froze over (although some scientists dispute this hypothesis -see link below).

    While microbial bacteria might readily survive such calamitous impacts, our new understanding from the record of the Earth's mass extinctions clearly shows that plants and animals are very susceptible to extinction in the wake of an impact.

    Impact rates depend on how many comets and asteroids exist in a particular planetary system. In general there is one major impact every million years -a mere blink of the eye in geological time. It also depends on how often those objects are perturbed from safe orbits that parallel the Earth's orbit to new, Earth-crossing orbits that might, sooner or later, result in a catastrophic K/T or Permian-type mass extinction.

    The asteroid that hit Vredefort located in the Free State Province of South Africa is one of the largest to ever impact Earth, estimated at over 10 km (6 miles) wide, although it is believed by many that the original size of the impact structure could have been 250 km in diameter, or possibly larger(though the Wilkes Land crater in Antarctica, if confirmed to have been the result of an impact event, is even larger at 500 kilometers across). The town of Vredefort is situated in the crater (image).

    Dating back 2,023 million years, it is the oldest astrobleme found on earth so far, with a radius of 190km, it is also the most deeply eroded. Vredefort Dome Vredefort bears witness to the world’s greatest known single energy release event, which caused devastating global change, including, according to many scientists, major evolutionary changes.

    What has kept the Earth "safe" at least the past 65 million years, other than blind luck is the massive gravitational field of Jupiter, our cosmic guardian, with its stable circular orbit far from the sun, which assures a low number of impacts resulting in mass extinctions by sweeping up and scatters away most of the dangerous Earth-orbit-crossing comets and asteroids
    Posted by Casey Kazan with Rebecca Sato
    Note: This post was adapted from a news release issued by University of Southampton.
    Source: http://www.rationalvedanta.net/node/131
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    Default Re: NEO 2004 MN4 - Asteriod 99942 Apophis - Impact with Earth

    5 Plans to Head Off the Apophis Killer Asteroid

    More than 100,000 asteroids hurtle past our planet. But only one—that we know of—may hit us in the next 30 years.



    By David Noland





    October 1, 2009 12:00 AM
    Scientists at Arizona's Kitt Peak National Observatory first spotted the Apophis asteroid in June 2004. (Photo: Bryan Allen)

    Friday the 13th of April 2029 could be a very unlucky day for planet Earth. At 4:36 am Greenwich Mean Time, a 25-million-ton, 820-ft.-wide asteroid called 99942 Apophis will slice across the orbit of the moon and barrel toward Earth at more than 28,000 mph. The huge pockmarked rock, two-thirds the size of Devils Tower in Wyoming, will pack the energy of 65,000 Hiroshima bombs--enough to wipe out a small country or kick up an 800-ft. tsunami.

    On this day, however, Apophis is not expected to live up to its namesake, the ancient Egyptian god of darkness and destruction. Scientists are 99.7 percent certain it will pass at a distance of 18,800 to 20,800 miles. In astronomical terms, 20,000 miles is a mere stone's throw, shorter than a round-trip flight from New York to Melbourne, Australia, and well inside the orbits of Earth's many geosynchronous communications satellites. For a couple of hours after dusk, people in Europe, Africa and western Asia will see what looks like a medium-bright star creeping westward through the constellation of Cancer, making Apophis the first asteroid in human history to be clearly visible to the naked eye. And then it will be gone, having vanished into the dark vastness of space. We will have dodged a cosmic bullet.

    Maybe. Scientists calculate that if Apophis passes at a distance of exactly 18,893 miles, it will go through a "gravitational keyhole." This small region in space--only about a half mile wide, or twice the diameter of the asteroid itself--is where Earth's gravity would perturb Apophis in just the wrong way, causing it to enter an orbit seven-sixths as long as Earth's. In other words, the planet will be squarely in the crosshairs for a potentially catastrophic asteroid impact precisely seven years later, on April 13, 2036.
    Radar and optical tracking during Apophis's fly-by last summer put the odds of the asteroid passing through the keyhole at about 45,000-to-1. "People have a hard time reasoning with low-probability/high-consequence risks," says Michael DeKay of the Center for Risk Perception and Communication at Carnegie Mellon University. "Some people say, 'Why bother, it's not really going to happen.' But others say that when the potential consequences are so serious, even a tiny risk is unacceptable."

    Former astronaut Rusty Schweickart, now 71, knows a thing or two about objects flying through space, having been one himself during a spacewalk on the Apollo 9 mission in 1969. Through the B612 Foundation, which he co-founded in 2001, Schweickart has been prodding NASA to do something about Apophis--and soon. "We need to act," he says. "If we blow this, it'll be criminal."

    If the dice do land the wrong way in 2029, Apophis would have to be deflected by some 5000 miles to miss the Earth in 2036. Hollywood notwithstanding, that's a feat far beyond any current human technology. The fanciful mission in the 1998 movie Armageddon--to drill a hole more than 800 ft. into an asteroid and detonate a nuclear bomb inside it--is about as technically feasible as time travel. In reality, after April 13, 2029, there would be little we could do but plot the precise impact point and start evacuating people.


    Diagram: How to Off An Asteroid

    Click to enlarge
    Fortunately, Apophis needs to be nudged only about a mile to avoid a gravitational "keyhole" in space--a region that would send the asteroid on a collision course with Earth. Otherwise, it would have to be diverted 5000 miles for it to miss our planet. This reduces the energy required to deflect Apophis by a factor of about 10,000--making it theoretically possible using current technology. A number of methods have been proposed to do the job.

    According to projections, an Apophis impact would occur somewhere along a curving 30-mile-wide swath stretching across Russia, the Pacific Ocean, Central America and on into the Atlantic. Managua, Nicaragua; San José, Costa Rica; and Caracas, Venezuela, all would be in line for near-direct hits and complete destruction. The most likely target, though, is several thousand miles off the West Coast, where Apophis would create a 5-mile-wide, 9000-ft.-deep "crater" in the water. The collapse of that transient water crater would trigger tsunamis that would hammer California with an hour-long fusillade of 50-ft. waves.

    BUT DON'T EVACUATE just yet. Although we can't force Apophis to miss the Earth after 2029, we have the technology to nudge it slightly off course well before then, causing it to miss the keyhole in the first place. According to NASA, a simple 1-ton "kinetic energy impactor" spacecraft thumping into Apophis at 5000 mph would do the trick. We already have a template for such a mission: NASA's Deep Impact space probe--named after another 1998 cosmic-collision movie--slammed into the comet Tempel 1 in 2005 to gather data about the composition of its surface. Alternatively, an ion-drive-powered "gravity tractor" spacecraft could hover above Apophis and use its own tiny gravity to gently pull the asteroid off course.

    In 2005, Schweickart urged NASA administrator Michael Griffin to start planning a mission to land a radio transponder on Apophis. Tracking data from the device would almost certainly confirm that the asteroid won't hit the keyhole in 2029, allowing everyone on Earth to breathe a collective sigh of relief. But if it didn't, there still would be time to design and launch a deflection mission, a project that Schweickart estimates could take as long as 12 years. It would need to be completed by about 2026 to allow enough time for a spacecraft's tiny nudge to take effect.

    NASA, however, is taking a wait-and-see attitude. An analysis by Steven Chesley of the Near Earth Object program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., concludes that we can safely sit tight until 2013. That's when Apophis swings by Earth in prime position for tracking by the 1000-ft.-dia. radio telescope in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. This data could also rule out a keyhole hit in 2029. But if it doesn't, the transponder mission and, if necessary, a last-resort deflection mission could still be launched in time, according to Chesley. "There's no rush right now," he says. "But if it's still serious by 2014, we need to start designing real missions." About 100 tons of interplanetary material drifts to the Earth's surface on a daily basis. Occasionally, an object hurtles with enough force to leave a mark.
    ASTEROIDS are large rocky or metal bodies that originate in the relatively warm inner solar system, in the region between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
    COMETS are composed mostly of water ice and rock, and form in the cold outer solar system beyond the planets' orbits. Scientists believe comets may have delivered the first organic compounds to Earth billions of years ago.
    METEOROIDS are either pieces of asteroids that collided in space, or debris released by vaporizing comets. When meteoroids enter Earth's atmosphere, they are called meteors, and when they reach its surface they are called meteorites. So far, the remnants of more than 160 impact craters have been identified on Earth. Here are six of the most notable:


    50 THOUSAND YEARS AGO
    BARRINGER CRATER
    Arizona
    Diameter: 4100 ft.
    Cause: 150-ft.-wide meteorite
    Claim to fame: Also called "Meteor Crater" (above), this is the first impact crater ever identified on Earth, as well as the best preserved one. In the 1960s, astronauts went there to practice sampling techniques for the Apollo program. 35 MILLION YEARS AGO
    CHESAPEAKE BAY CRATER
    Maryland
    Diameter: 53 miles
    Cause: 1- to 2-mile-wide meteorite
    Claim to fame: Though long ago filled in by soil and water, this is the largest impact crater in the U.S. The event that caused it fractured bedrock more than a mile deep, creating a saltwater reservoir that still affects the region's groundwater.
    35.7 MILLION YEARS AGO
    POPIGAI CRATER
    Siberia, Russia
    Diameter: 62 miles
    Cause: 3-mile-wide asteroid
    Claim to fame: The crater is flecked with industrial-grade diamonds created by shock pressure on graphite. A recent theory posits that this asteroid and the Chesapeake Bay meteorite originated from one asteroid. 65 MILLION YEARS AGO
    CHICXULUB BASIN
    Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico
    Diameter: 110 miles
    Cause: 6-mile-wide asteroid
    Claim to fame: This impact triggered enormous tsunamis and magnitude 10 earthquakes. Scientists believe it led to the extinction of dinosaurs and of 75 percent of all species, effectively ending the Cretaceous Period.
    1.85 BILLION YEARS AGO
    SUDBURY CRATER
    Ontario, Canada
    Diameter: 155 miles
    Cause: 6-mile-wide comet
    Claim to fame: On the crater floor, heat from the impact and cometary water fed a system of hot springs possibly capable of supporting life. The rim of the crater also holds one of the world's largest supplies of nickel and copper ore. 2 BILLION YEARS AGO
    VREDEFORT DOME
    South Africa
    Diameter: 236 miles
    Cause: 6-mile-wide comet
    Claim to fame: Though now the most eroded, Vredefort is the oldest and (at impact) the largest such crater on Earth. It was created by the world's greatest known energy release, which may have altered the evolution of single-cell organisms.

    Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweickart holds a model of the asteroid 1998 KY26. IN 1998, CONGRESS mandated NASA to find and track near-Earth asteroids at least 1 kilometer in diameter. The resulting Spaceguard Survey has detected, at last count, about 75 percent of the 1100 estimated to be out there. (Although Apophis was nearly 2500 ft. short of the size criterion, it was found serendipitously during the search process.) Thankfully, none of the giants so far discovered is a threat to Earth. "But any one of those couple of hundred we haven't found yet could be headed toward us right now," says former astronaut Tom Jones, an asteroid-search consultant for NASA and a Popular Mechanics editorial adviser. The space agency plans to expand Spaceguard to include asteroids down to 140 meters in diameter—less than half the size of Apophis, but still big enough to do serious damage. It has already detected more than 4000 of these; NASA estimates approximately 100,000 exist.

    Predicting asteroid orbits can be a messy business, as the history of tracking Apophis in its 323-day orbit demonstrates. Astronomers at Arizona's Kitt Peak National Observatory discovered the asteroid in June 2004. It was six months before additional sightings—many made by amateurs using backyard telescopes—triggered alarm bells at JPL, home to the Sentry asteroid-impact monitoring system, a computer that predicts the orbits of near-Earth asteroids based on astronomical observations. Sentry's impact predictions then grew more ominous by the day. On Dec. 27, 2004, the odds of a 2029 impact reached 2.7 percent—a figure that stirred great excitement in the small world of asteroid chasers. Apophis vaulted to an unprecedented rating of 4 on the Torino Impact Hazard Scale, a 10-step, color-coded index of asteroid and comet threat levels.

    But the commotion was short-lived. When previously overlooked observations were fed into the computer, it spit out reassuring news: Apophis would not hit the Earth in 2029 after all, though it wouldn't miss by much. Oh, and there was one other thing: that troublesome keyhole.

    The small size of the gravitational keyhole—just 2000 ft. in diameter—is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it wouldn't take much to nudge Apophis outside it. Calculations suggest that if we change Apophis's velocity by a mere 0.0001 mph—about 31 in. per day—in three years its orbit would be deflected by more than a mile, a piddling amount, but enough to miss the keyhole. That's easily within the capabilities of a gravity tractor or kinetic energy impactor. On the other hand, with a target so minuscule, predicting precisely where Apophis will pass in relation to the keyhole becomes, well, a hit-or-miss proposition. Current orbit projections for 2029 have a margin of error—orbital scientists call it the error ellipse—of about 2000 miles. As data rolls in, the error ellipse will shrink considerably. But if the keyhole stubbornly stays within it, NASA may have to reduce the ellipse to a mile or less before it knows for sure whether Apophis will hit the bull's-eye. Otherwise, a mission risks inadvertently nudging Apophis into the keyhole instead of away from it.

    Can we predict Apophis's orbit to the submile level far enough in advance to launch a deflection mission? That level of forecasting accuracy would require, in addition to a transponder, a vastly more complex orbital calculation model than the one used today. It would have to include calculations for such minute effects as solar radiation, relativity and the gravitational pulls of small nearby asteroids, none of which are fully accounted for in the current model.

    And then there's the wild card of asteroid orbital calculations: the Yarkovsky Effect. This small but steady force occurs when an asteroid radiates more heat from one side than the other. As an asteroid rotates away from the sun, the heat that has accumulated on its surface is shed into space, giving it a slight push in the other direction. An asteroid called 6489 Golevka, twice the size of Apophis, has been pushed about 10 miles off course by this effect in the past 15 years. How Apophis will be influenced over the next 23 years is anybody's guess. At the moment we have no clue about its spin direction or axis, or even its shape—all necessary parameters for estimating the effect.

    IF APOPHIS IS INDEED headed for the gravitational keyhole, ground observations won't be able to confirm it until at least 2021. By that time, it may be too late to do anything about it. Considering what's at stake—Chesley estimates that an Apophis-size asteroid impact would cost $400 billion in infrastructure damage alone—it seems prudent to start taking steps to deal with Apophis long before we know whether those steps will eventually prove necessary. When do we start? Or, alternatively, at what point do we just cross our fingers and hope it misses? When the odds are 10-to-1 against it? A thousand-to-1? A million?

    When NASA does discover a potentially threatening asteroid like Apophis, it has no mandate to decide whether, when or how to take action. "We're not in the mitigation business," Chesley says. A workshop to discuss general asteroid-defense options last June was NASA's first official baby step in that direction.

    If NASA eventually does get the nod—and more important, the budget—from Congress, the obvious first move would be a reconnaissance mission to Apophis. Schweickart estimates that "even gold-plated at JPL," a transponder-equipped gravity tractor could be launched for $250 million. Ironically, that's almost precisely the cost of making the cosmic-collision movies Armageddon and Deep Impact. If Hollywood can pony up a quarter of a billion in the name of defending our planet, why can't Congress?
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: NEO 2004 MN4 - Asteriod 99942 Apophis - Impact with Earth

    25 years from extinction? NASA separates fact from fiction




    By Amity Addrisi, Eyewitness News and BakersfieldNow.com




    Summary

    The idea of how the world will meet its end has long fascinated the human race. One particular doomsday theory is anything but crazy, and it has NASA scientists putting money into research that might just save out lives.


    Story Created: May 23, 2011 at 5:09 PM PDT
    Story Updated: May 24, 2011 at 11:55 AM PDT



    Comments (1)


    BAKERSFIELD, Calif. ó From the silver screen to science fiction novels, the idea of how the world will meet its end has long fascinated the human race.

    One particular doomsday theory is anything but crazy, and it has NASA scientists putting money into research that might just save out lives.

    Right now, astronomers are keeping a close eye on an object flying towards earth. Eyewitness News went to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and learned that if space really is the final frontier, we may someday have to move off our little blue dot in the universe.

    On April 13, 2029, an asteroid is set to come very close to earth. On that day, the asteroid Apophis, which is the size of two football fields, will fly by the blue planet.

    Scientists believe that the asteroid could be affected by earth's gravitational pull, eventually spinning Apophis into our orbit.

    If all the conditions are right, Apophis could return seven years later and actually hit the planet. Scientists calculate that to happen on April 13, 2036, which happens to be Easter Sunday.

    At JPL, Don Yeomans is the leading astronomer for NASA's Near Earth Objects, or NEO, program. Yeomans said the asteroid would create, "Substantial regional devastation. We're not talking a city or a county. We're talking a state-sized devastation area."

    NASA's NEO program monitors comets and asteroids heading towards earth. Right now, scientists are keeping track of approximately 380 such objects at JPL. As they get closer to earth, scientists reassess them and determine if they are a threat of earth impact.

    Eyewitness News asked NASA if they are confident that they could save the world.

    "We do have the technology to deal with them if we find them early enough," Yeomans said. "I like to say that the three criteria for near earth objects is we have to find them early, we have to find them early and we have to find them early."

    So, letís say scientists found an asteroid bound for earth? What then?

    "You can run into it, you can with a space craft slow it down so it misses the earth in 10 years time, you could send a nuclear explosive device to either blow it up or slow it down," Yeomans said, listing the options.

    It's not necessarily the impact of the asteroid that would devastate our planet. If a large enough meteor hit our planet it could create a worldwide dust cloud. That cloud would block out the sun and kill the plants that sustain all life on earth.

    At this point, NASA has identified 90 percent of the largest asteroids coming towards earth, including Apophis. Yeomans said almost none of them represent a threat for the next 100 years.

    However, he says that although the threat of asteroids is not immediate, he stresses we should look beyond earth for a new home.

    "We have two choices, we can either expand our place in the universe or we can die, because we are going to get hit sooner or later," Yeomans said.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: NEO 2004 MN4 - Asteriod 99942 Apophis - Impact with Earth

    Article:
    Tracking Asteroid Apophis: New Photos Catch Potentially Dangerous Space Rock


    SPACE.com Staff
    Date: 10 March 2011 Time: 01:54 PM ET













    The potentially dangerous asteroid Apophis (circled) is seen here, in a composite of five exposures taken Jan. 31 by a telescope in Hawaii. The doughnut in the upper left corner is an artifact caused by a dust speck on the camera.
    CREDIT: D. Tholen, M. Micheli, G. Elliott, UH Institute for Astronomy
    View full size image
    Astronomers tracking the potentially dangerous asteroid Apophis made a major breakthrough in January, snapping the first pictures of the space rock in more than three years, researchers announced yesterday (March 9).


    Using a telescope atop the dormant Hawaiian volcano Mauna Kea, astronomers snapped a series of photos on Jan. 31 as Apophis emerged from behind the sun. Of all known space rocks, the 900-foot-wide (270-meter) Apophis is perhaps the one most often cited as a potential candidate for impacting Earth sometime in the next few decades.


    Apophis became famous in 2004, when it appeared to have a 1-in-37 chance of smashing into Earth in April 2029. Additional data and further analysis, however, eventually revealed that the odds of an impact then are actually much smaller ó about 1-in-250,000.


    The asteroid will also make other close passes by Earth in 2036 and 2068, so astronomers are keeping a vigilant eye on the space rock in case its path through space changes over time. [Photos: Asteroids in Deep Space]


    A close shave
    While the 2029 encounter poses little threat, it will still be a close shave.
    On April 13, 2029, Apophis will come closer to our planet than the orbits of many communications satellites, researchers said. It should even be briefly visible to the naked eye as a faint, star-like object streaking through the sky Ė weather and time of day permitting.


    The close pass will likely change Apophis' orbit substantially, perhaps increasing the odds of a collision later this century, researchers said. That's why astronomers are keeping tabs on Apophis and gathering as much information as possible about its orbit. [5 Reasons to Care About Asteroids]
    The new photos should help them do that.


    The research team gathered the new images when Apophis was less than 44 degrees from the sun and about a million times fainter than the dimmest star the unaided human eye can pick up, researchers said.


    "The superb observing conditions that are possible on Mauna Kea made the observations relatively easy," Apophis co-discover David Tholen, an astronomer at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, said in a statement.


    More observations needed
    In addition to the 2029 encounter, Apophis will likely make two other potentially dangerous close passes to Earth later this century, researchers said ó though odds of an impact are currently remote in both cases.


    In April 2036, the asteroid will come within about 18,300 miles (29,450 km) of Earth, with a 1-in-250,000 chance of hitting us. For the 2068 pass, the odds are even smaller ó about 1 in 333,000.


    But more observations are needed to really pin down where Apophis is headed, in case its orbit is disturbed.


    Astronomers measure the position of an asteroid by comparing it with the known positions of stars that appear in the same image. As a result, any tiny error in the catalog of star positions ó due, for example, to the very slow motions of stars around the center of our Milky Way galaxy ó can affect measurements of asteroid positions.


    "We will need to repeat the observation on several different nights using different stars to average out this source of imprecision before we will be able to significantly improve the orbit of Apophis and therefore the details of the 2029 close approach and future impact possibilities," Tholen said.


    Apophisí elliptical orbit around the sun will take it back into the sunís glare this summer, making it tough to acquire additional positions.


    However, in 2012, Apophis will again become observable for about nine months. And in 2013, the asteroid will pass so close to Earth that scientists will be able to bounce ultraprecise radar signals off its surface, researchers said.


    Follow SPACE.com for the latest in space science and exploration news on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.


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    Default Re: NEO 2004 MN4 - Asteriod 99942 Apophis - Impact with Earth

    Will Asteroid Apophis Hit Earth in 2036? NASA Rejects Russian Report


    By Michelle Bryner, Life’s Little Mysteries Contributor
    02 February 2011 7:11 PM ET




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    If the asteroid Apophis hits Earth in 2036, it could slam into the Pacific Ocean, generating a tsunami that could devastate the west coast of North America (Illustration: Don Davis/NASA)



    In 2004, NASA scientists announced that there was a chance that Apophis, an asteroid larger than two football fields, could smash into Earth in 2029. A few additional observations and some number-crunching later, astronomers noted that the chance of the planet-killer hitting Earth in 2029 was nearly zilch.




    Now, reports out of Russia say that scientists there estimate Apophis will collide with Earth on April 13, 2036. These reports conflict on the probability of such a doomsday event, but the question remains: How scared should we be?


    “Technically, they’re correct, there is a chance in 2036 [that Apophis will hit Earth]," said Donald Yeomans, head of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office. However, that chance is just 1-in-250,000, Yeomans said.


    The Russian scientists are basing their predictions of a collision on the chance that the 900-foot-long (270 meters) Apophis will travel through what’s called a gravitational keyhole as it passes by Earth in 2029. The gravitational keyhole they mention is a precise region in space, only slightly larger than the asteroid itself, in which the effect of Earth's gravity is such that it could tweak Apophis' path.


    “The situation is that in 2029, April 13, [Apophis] flies very close to the Earth, within five Earth radii, so that will be quite an event, but we’ve already ruled out the possibility of it hitting at that time,” Yeomans told Life’s Little Mysteries. “On the other hand, if it goes through what we call a keyhole during that close Earth approach … then it will indeed be perturbed just right so that it will come back and smack Earth on April 13, 2036,” Yeomans said.


    The chances of the asteroid going through the keyhole, which is tiny compared to the asteroid, are “minuscule,” Yeomans added.


    The more likely scenario is this: Apophis will make a fairly close approach to Earth in late 2012 and early 2013, and will be extensively observed with ground-based optical telescopes and radar systems. If it seems to be heading on a destructive path, NASA will devise the scheme and machinery necessary to change the asteroid’s orbit, decreasing the probability of a collision in 2036 to zero, Yeomans said.


    There are several ways to change an asteroid’s orbit, the simplest of which is to run a spacecraft into the hurtling rock. This technology was used on July 4, 2005, when Deep Impact smashed into the comet Tempel 1.


    Got a question? Send us an email and we'll look for an expert who can crack it.
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    Default Re: NEO 2004 MN4 - Asteriod 99942 Apophis - Impact with Earth

    • 26/5/2011 19:18

    Science
    Russian astronomers predict Apophis-Earth collision in 2036

    Russian astronomers predict Apophis-Earth collision in 2036
    © NASA PL-Caltech/T


    19:22 26/01/2011
    Related News





    Russian astronomers have predicted that asteroid Apophis may strike Earth on April 13, 2036.


    "Apophis will approach Earth at a distance of 37,000-38,000 kilometers on April 13, 2029. Its likely collision with Earth may occur on April 13, 2036," Professor Leonid Sokolov of the St. Petersburg State University said.


    The scientist said, however, the chance of a collision in 2036 was extremely slim saying that the asteroid would likely disintegrate into smaller parts and smaller collisions with Earth could occur in the following years.


    "Our task is to consider various alternatives and develop scenarios and plans of action depending on the results of further observations of Apophis," Sokolov said.


    The asteroid, discovered in 2004, is considered the largest threat to our planet, although NASA scientists reduced the likelihood of a hazardous strike with Earth in 2036.


    Russia's space agency announced its plans earlier to consider a project to prevent the large asteroid from colliding with Earth.
    MOSCOW, January 26 (RIA Novosti)
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    Default Re: NEO 2004 MN4 - Asteriod 99942 Apophis - Impact with Earth

    Here's a site dedicated to this asteroid.

    http://asteroidapophis.com/

    Not gonna repost their articles here, click the link though and go read through what is there.

    Two notes...

    1) Russians are recalcuating the chances of a strike on Earth and are saying it's going to happen.

    2) We do NOT have a program in place and it appears that America is "waiting to see" yet again, until the initial approach. After that apporach it's possible the asteroid will hit the "keyhole" and swing back around six years later, at a much increased speed and with a direct course for the center of the planet. If that happens we're talking true dooms day. If we wait for the last keyhole approach to be confirmed we will certainly be UNABLE to affect the asteroid in the ensuing six years enough to make it go away or miss us completely.
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    Default Re: NEO 2004 MN4 - Asteriod 99942 Apophis - Impact with Earth

    Predicting Apophis' Earth Encounters in 2029 and 2036
    SUMMARY
    Researchers at NASA/JPL, Caltech, and Arecibo Observatory have released the results of radar observations of the potentially hazardous asteroid 99942 Apophis, along with an in-depth analysis of its motion. The research will affect how and when scientists measure, predict, or consider modifying the asteroid's motion. The paper has been accepted for publication in the science journal "Icarus" and was presented at the AAS/DPS conference in Orlando, Florida in October of 2007. The Apophis study was led by Jon Giorgini, a senior analyst in JPL's Solar System Dynamics group and member of the radar team that observed Apophis.

    The analysis of Apophis previews situations likely to be encountered with NEAs yet to be discovered: a close approach that is not dangerous (like Apophis in 2029) nonetheless close enough to obscure the proximity and the danger of a later approach (like Apophis in 2036) by amplifying trajectory prediction uncertainties caused by difficult-to-observe physical characteristics interacting with solar radiation as well as other factors.
    BACKGROUND
    Upon its discovery in 2004, Apophis was briefly estimated to have a 2.7% chance of impacting the Earth in 2029. Additional measurements later showed there was no impact risk at that time from the 210-330 meter (690-1080 foot) diameter object, identified spectroscopically as an Sq type similar to LL chondritic meteorites. However, there will be a historically close approach to the Earth, estimated to be a 1 in 800 year event (on average, for an object of that size).
    Arecibo Radar Image of Apophis

    Apophis Position Uncertainty

    The Arecibo planetary radar telescope subsequently detected the asteroid at distances of 27-40 million km (17-25 million miles; 0.192-0.268 AU) in 2005 and 2006. Polarization ratios indicate Apophis appears to be smoother than most NEAs at 13-cm scales. Including the high precision radar measurements in a new orbit solution reduced the uncertainty in Apophis' predicted location in 2029 by 98%.

    While trajectory knowledge was substantially corrected by the Arecibo data, a small estimated chance of impact (less than 1 in 45,000 using standard dynamical models) remained for April 13, 2036. With Apophis probably too close to the Sun to be measured by optical telescopes until 2011, and too distant for useful radar measurement until 2013, the underlying physics of Apophis' motion were considered to better understand the hazard.

    RESULTS OF THE STUDY

    (1) Extending the "Standard Dynamical Model" Trajectory predictions for asteroids are normally based on a standard model of the solar system that includes the gravity of the Sun, Moon, other planets, and the three largest asteroids.

    However, additional factors can influence the predicted motion in ways that depend on rarely known details, such as the spin of the asteroid, its mass, the way it reflects and absorbs sun-light, radiates heat, and the gravitational pull of other asteroids passing nearby. These were examined, along with the effect of Earth's non-uniform gravity field during encounters, and limitations of the computer hardware performing the calculations.

    One would normally look for the influence of such factors as they gradually alter the trajectory over years. But, for Apophis, the changes remain small until amplified by passage through Earth's gravity field during the historically close approach in 2029.

    For example, the team found solar energy can cause between 20 and 740 km (12 and 460 miles) of position change over the next 22 years leading into the 2029 Earth encounter. But, only 7 years later, the effect on Apophis' predicted position can grow to between 520,000 and 30 million km (323,000 and 18.6 million miles; 0.0035-0.2 AU). This range makes it difficult to predict if Apophis will even have a close encounter with Earth in 2036 when the orbital paths intersect.
    Present era through 2029

    Small factors 2029-2036

    It was found that small uncertainties in the masses and positions of the planets and Sun can cause up to 23 Earth radii of prediction error for Apophis by 2036.

    The standard model of the Earth as a point mass can introduce up to 2.9 Earth radii of prediction error by 2036; at least the Earth's oblateness must be considered to predict an impact.

    The gravity of other asteroids can cause up to 2.3 Earth radii of prediction uncertainty for Apophis.

    By considering the range of Apophis' physical characteristics and these error sources, it was determined what observations prior to 2029 will most effectively reduce prediction uncertainties. Observing criteria were developed that, if satisfied, could permit eliminating the 2036 impact possibility without further physical characterization of Apophis.

    Such observations could reduce the need for a visit by an expensive spacecraft and reduce the risk of Apophis being prematurely eliminated as a hazard under the standard model, only to drift back into the hazard classification system years later as the smaller, unmodeled forces act upon it.
    (2) Mitigation Mitigation was not specifically studied, but the team found small variations in the energy absorption and reflection properties of Apophis' surface are sufficient to cause enough trajectory change to obscure the difference between an impact and a miss in 2036. Changing the amount of energy Apophis absorbs by half a percent as late as 2018 - for example by covering a 40 x 40 meter (130 x 130 foot) patch with lightweight reflective materials (an 8 kg payload) - can change its position in 2036 by a minimum of one Earth radius.
    Apophis Trajectory Change

    A change somewhat greater than this minimum would be required to allow for prediction uncertainties. For Apophis, scaling up to distribute 250 kg (550 pounds) of a reflective or absorptive material (similar to the carbon fiber mesh being considered for solar sails) across the surface could use the existing radiation forces to produce a 6-sigma trajectory change, moving at least "99.9999998" percent of the statistically possible trajectories away from the Earth in just 18 years.

    While no deflection is expected to be necessary, the team's research demonstrates that any deflection method must produce a change known in advance to be greater than all the error sources in the prediction, including some greater than those considered with the standard model.
    (3) Impact probability
    The study did NOT compute new impact probabilities. This is because important physical parameters (such as mass and spin pole) that affect its trajectory have not yet been measured and hence there are no associated probability distributions. The study characterizes how the Standard Dynamical Model can over or under-estimate impact probability for those objects having close planetary encounters prior to the potential impact.

    The situation is similar to having 6 apples (the measured Apophis parameters) and 6 boxes whose contents are unknown (the unmeasured Apophis parameters), then trying to compute the probability one has a total of 12 apples (impact probability). The result reflects back what is assumed about the unknown contents of the boxes, but doesn't reveal new information. The contents of the boxes must be observed (measured) to learn something new.

    For similar reasons, the Apophis study instead uses the minimum and maximum range-of-effect in place of computing impact probabilities to provide reasonable criteria for excluding impact in the absence of detailed physical knowledge, once new position measurements are obtained at six key times.
    (4) Non-Apophis Conclusions
    Aspects of the study relevant to asteroids other than Apophis:

    • The Standard Dynamical Model can misestimate impact risk for the more numerous sub-km objects preceded by close planetary encounter(s). This problem might be addressed by reassessing impact potential after planetary encounters, given new measurements.
    • The minimum-maximum effect of unmeasured parameters can provide enough information to exclude threats in certain cases, even if a realistic impact probability cannot be computed.
    • Amplification of small trajectory offsets makes valid prediction across a close-encounter difficult without physical knowledge, but offers the potential to redirect the entire uncertainty region and has significant implications for costly spacecraft missions.
    • A deflection effort must be known in advance to produce change greater than predicted uncertainties due to ALL parameters, not only the Standard Dynamical Model. For example, if a method produces 10 Earth-radii of change, but prediction uncertainties from all sources are 20 Earth-radii, the deflection would move the asteroid around within the noise, producing an unpredicted result or even a new hazard.

    The Apophis situation has predictability problems essentially the same as previously described in "Science" for 29075 (1950 DA), but occurring more severely: in as little as 2-3 decades, rather than the 880 year prediction of that case. FUTURE
    The future for Apophis on Friday, April 13 of 2029 includes an approach to Earth no closer than 29,470 km (18,300 miles, or 5.6 Earth radii from the center, or 4.6 Earth-radii from the surface) over the mid-Atlantic, appearing to the naked eye as a moderately bright point of light moving rapidly across the sky. Depending on its mechanical nature, it could experience shape or spin-state alteration due to tidal forces caused by Earth's gravity field.

    This is within the distance of Earth's geosynchronous satellites. However, because Apophis will pass interior to the positions of these satellites at closest approach, in a plane inclined at 40 degrees to the Earth's equator and passing outside the equatorial geosynchronous zone when crossing the equatorial plane, it does not threaten the satellites in that heavily populated region.

    Using criteria developed in this research, new measurements possible in 2013 (if not 2011) will likely confirm that in 2036 Apophis will quietly pass more than 49 million km (30.5 million miles; 0.32 AU) from Earth on Easter Sunday of that year (April 13).
    CREDITS
    In addition to Giorgini, co-authors of the report include Dr. Lance A. M. Benner and Dr. Steven J. Ostro of JPL; Dr. Michael C. Nolan, Arecibo Observatory, Puerto Rico, and Michael W. Busch of the California Institute of Technology.

    Arecibo Observatory is operated by Cornell University under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
    UPDATE NOTES
    2009-Apr-29:
    This animation illustrates how the unmeasured physical parameters of Apophis bias the entire statistical uncertainty region. If Apophis is a RETROGRADE rotator on the small, less-massive end of what is possible, the measurement uncertainty region will get pushed back such that the center of the distribution encounters the Earth's orbit. This would result in an impact probability much higher than computed with the Standard Dynamical Model. Conversely, if Apophis is a small, less-massive PROGRADE rotator, the uncertainty region is advanced along the orbit. Only the remote tails of the probability distribution could encounter the Earth, producing a negligible impact probability. Although measurements in 2010-2011 may cut the size of the measurement uncertainty region greatly and result in an "all clear" using the Standard Dynamical Model, it may not be until Arecibo radar in 2013 provides a spin direction that Earth's passage through the probability distribution center can be ruled out.

    2008-Jul-10:
    An equivalent way of describing the problem of computing an impact probability for Apophis is that the true 2029 "keyhole" leading to a 2036 impact -- as compared to the theoretical keyhole derived from the Standard Dynamical Model -- is not known in the absence of knowledge of the complete dynamics. The problem is acute enough for Apophis that, IF impact hasn't been previously excluded, AND there hasn't been a through physical characterization, it can't be known for certain it will impact until during or after the 2029 encounter, even if a spacecraft is accompanying Apophis and providing position measurements good to 2 meters. That is, the keyhole could be determined only retrospectively, after passage through it.

    2008-Apr-16:
    In response to inquiries, accidental impact with an artifical satellite in 2029 is vanishingly unlikely. As mentioned above, (1) Apophis does not pass near the zones where most satellites are located and (2) man-made satellites and Apophis both have small cross-sectional areas. Even if a high-velocity impact occurred, at most a large satellite could change Apophis' position 7 years later (in 2036) by only 100's of km. This is less than 1/10th the size of the smaller issues considered in the study, very much in the noise of the calculations, and can have no meaningful effect on Earth impact probability estimation (which already incorporates more than 30 million km of uncertainty). At such a late date, impact with an artificial satellite would be like a bug on the windshield of Apophis. Deflection efforts are dependent on being early enough to leverage the dynamics of the 2029 encounter. Events during the encounter lack such leverage.

    2008-Feb-22:
    Paper received JPL's 2008 Edward Stone Award for Outstanding Research Publication.

    2007-Dec-13:
    The paper will be published in the January 2008 issue of Icarus. Reference: Giorgini JD, Benner LAM, Ostro SJ, Nolan MC, Busch MW, Predicting the Earth encounters of (99942) Apophis, Icarus 193 (2008), pp. 1-19.
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    Default Re: NEO 2004 MN4 - Asteriod 99942 Apophis - Impact with Earth

    Posted in 2009, I missed this one:

    Dwayne Brown
    Headquarters, Washington
    202-358-1726
    dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov

    DC Agle
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
    818-393-9011
    agle@jpl.nasa.gov


    Oct. 7, 2009


    RELEASE : 09-232

    NASA Refines Asteroid Apophis' Path Toward Earth

    PASADENA, Calif. -- Using updated information, NASA scientists have recalculated the path of a large asteroid. The refined path indicates a significantly reduced likelihood of a hazardous encounter with Earth in 2036.

    The Apophis asteroid is approximately the size of two-and-a-half football fields. The new data were documented by near-Earth object scientists Steve Chesley and Paul Chodas at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. They will present their updated findings at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society's Division for Planetary Sciences in Puerto Rico on Oct. 8.

    "Apophis has been one of those celestial bodies that has captured the public's interest since it was discovered in 2004," said Chesley. "Updated computational techniques and newly available data indicate the probability of an Earth encounter on April 13, 2036, for Apophis has dropped from one-in-45,000 to about four-in-a million."

    A majority of the data that enabled the updated orbit of Apophis came from observations Dave Tholen and collaborators at the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy in Manoa made. Tholen pored over hundreds of previously unreleased images of the night sky made with the University of Hawaii's 88-inch telescope, located near the summit of Mauna Kea.

    Tholen made improved measurements of the asteroid's position in the images, enabling him to provide Chesley and Chodas with new data sets more precise than previous measures for Apophis. Measurements from the Steward Observatory's 90-inch Bok telescope on Kitt Peak in Arizona and the Arecibo Observatory on the island of Puerto Rico also were used in Chesley's calculations.

    The information provided a more accurate glimpse of Apophis' orbit well into the latter part of this century. Among the findings is another close encounter by the asteroid with Earth in 2068 with chance of impact currently at approximately three-in-a-million. As with earlier orbital estimates where Earth impacts in 2029 and 2036 could not initially be ruled out due to the need for additional data, it is expected that the 2068 encounter will diminish in probability as more information about Apophis is acquired.

    Initially, Apophis was thought to have a 2.7 percent chance of impacting Earth in 2029. Additional observations of the asteriod ruled out any possibility of an impact in 2029. However, the asteroid is expected to make a record-setting -- but harmless -- close approach to Earth on Friday, April 13, 2029, when it comes no closer than 18,300 miles above Earth's surface.

    "The refined orbital determination further reinforces that Apophis is an asteroid we can look to as an opportunity for exciting science and not something that should be feared," said Don Yeomans, manager of the Near-Earth Object Program Office at JPL. "The public can follow along as we continue to study Apophis and other near-Earth objects by visiting us on our AsteroidWatch Web site and by following us on the @AsteroidWatch Twitter feed."

    The science of predicting asteroid orbits is based on a physical model of the solar system which includes the gravitational influence of the sun, moon, other planets and the three largest asteroids.

    NASA detects and tracks asteroids and comets passing close to Earth using both ground and space-based telescopes. The Near Earth-Object Observations Program, commonly called "Spaceguard," discovers these objects, characterizes a subset of them and plots their orbits to determine if any could be potentially hazardous to our planet.

    JPL manages the Near-Earth Object Program Office for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Cornell University operates the Arecibo Observatory under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation in Arlington, Va.

    For more information about asteroids and near-Earth objects, visit:

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    Default Re: NEO 2004 MN4 - Asteriod 99942 Apophis - Impact with Earth

    Posted at 1:52 PM ET, 02/ 9/2011 Doomsday Apophis asteroid? Could the Earth be on a collision course?


    By Melissa Bell

    Something to look forward to? (NASA illustration)
    A new report from Russia seems to indicate that the Mayans were off by just 24 years. According to Russian scientists, in the year 2036, the Apophis asteroid and the Earth may have a date to meet.
    The report came from UPI, saying that Leonid Sokolov of St. Petersburg State University estimated the asteroid will hit the planet on April 13, 2036. The asteroid has made headlines before as scientists have been keeping a wary eye on the rock two football fields in size hurtling through space since its discovery in 2004.
    But, much like the Zodiac panic of 2011, the asteroid news may be creating a ruckus for nothing. NASA says the likelihood of a collision is only 1-in-250,000.
    Still, even that slim of a chance could be slightly disconcerting seeing that the pesky asteroid that hit the Earth 250 million years ago was likely the cause of 90 percent of life on the planet dying off (also, as a worrywart points out to me, those are better odds than winning the lottery).
    For you worrywarts, don't fret. NASA is hard at work figuring out ways to break apart the asteroid in case it comes too close. It's only slightly disconcerting that their number one plan is based on Bruce Willis's "Armageddon":
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    Default Re: NEO 2004 MN4 - Asteriod 99942 Apophis - Impact with Earth

    Doomsday Determined? Asteroid Apophis Could Strike Earth in 2036

    By Michelle Bryner
    Published February 10, 2011
    | Space.com



    David A. Hardy
    An artist's conception of an asteroid crashing into Earth.



    The date for Armageddon has been set, and it's not going to happen in 2012.


    In 2004, NASA [COLOR=blue !important][COLOR=blue !important]scientists[/COLOR][/COLOR] announced that there was a chance that Apophis, an asteroid larger than two football fields, could smash into Earth in 2029. A few additional observations and some number-crunching later, astronomers noted that the chance of the planet-killer hitting Earth in 2029 was nearly zilch.
    Now Russian scientists estimate Apophis will collide with Earth on April 13, 2036. These reports [COLOR=blue !important][COLOR=blue !important]conflict[/COLOR][/COLOR] on the probability of such a doomsday event, but the question remains: How scared should we be?


    “Technically, they’re correct, there is a chance in 2036 [that Apophis will hit Earth]," said Donald Yeomans, head of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office. However, that chance is just 1-in-250,000, Yeomans said.


    NASA was quick to discount Russia's fears, however. “The situation is that in 2029, April 13, [Apophis] flies very close to the Earth, within five Earth radii, so that will be quite an event, but we’ve already ruled out the possibility of it hitting at that time,” Yeomans told Life’s Little Mysteries, Space.com's sister site.
    Related Slideshow


    How to Prevent an Asteroid Impact


    Russia is considering sending a spacecraft to a large asteroid to knock it off its path and prevent a possible collision with Earth. Just how would we prevent asteroids from colliding with Earth?


    "No one should worry. Between Mars and Jupiter, we have an [COLOR=blue !important][COLOR=blue !important]asteroid [COLOR=blue !important]belt[/COLOR][/COLOR][/COLOR]. There's all the asteroids going near the sun, and these objects are coming near the earth all the time," Tim Hill, space manager at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa, told MyFoxTampaBay.


    “On the other hand, if it goes through what we call a keyhole during that close Earth approach … then it will indeed be perturbed just right so that it will come back and smack Earth on April 13, 2036,” Yeomans said.


    The Russian scientists are basing their predictions of a collision on the chance that the 900-foot-long (270 meters) Apophis will travel through just such a keyhole, called a gravitational keyhole, as it passes by Earth in 2029. The gravitational keyhole they mention is a precise region in space, only slightly larger than the asteroid itself, in which the effect of Earth's gravity is such that it could tweak Apophis' path.


    The chances of the asteroid going through the keyhole, which is tiny compared to the asteroid, are “minuscule,” Yeomans added.


    The more likely scenario is this: Apophis will make a fairly close approach to Earth in late 2012 and early 2013, and will be extensively observed with ground-based optical telescopes and radar systems. If it seems to be heading on a destructive path, NASA will devise the scheme and machinery necessary to change the asteroid’s orbit, decreasing the probability of a collision in 2036 to zero, Yeomans said.


    There are several ways to change an asteroid’s orbit, the simplest of which is to run a spacecraft into the hurtling rock. This technology was used on July 4, 2005, when Deep Impact smashed into the comet Tempel 1.
    * Russia May Attack Asteroid That's Virtually No Threat
    * Will An Asteroid Hit Earth? Are We All Doomed?
    * What's the Difference Between an Asteroid and a Comet?



    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/...#ixzz1NTPZrOiV
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    Default Re: NEO 2004 MN4 - Asteriod 99942 Apophis - Impact with Earth

    Astronomers continue to monitor asteroid Apophis

    March 11, 2011 By Nancy Atkinson
    Enlarge
    Apophis (circled) in a composite of five exposures taken on January 31 with the University of Hawaii 2.2-meter telescope on Mauna Kea. Credit: D. Tholen, M. Micheli, G. Elliott, UH Institute for Astronomy.


    Asteroid Apophis continues to be an object of interest for astronomers.


    Even though the possibility of an Earth impact by the now-famous asteroid has been ruled out during its upcoming close encounter on April 13, 2029, this close flyby will significantly change Apophis’s orbit, and astronomers are uncertain how that could affect future encounters with our planet. For that reason, astronomers have been eager to obtain new data to further refine the details of the 2029 encounter. However, for three years, the asteroid’s orbit had it “hiding” behind the Sun, but it has now emerged. This newest image of Apophis was taken on January 31, 2011, using the University of Hawaii’s 2.2-meter telescope on Mauna Kea, and astronomers from UH at Manoa say they will make repeated observations of this potentially dangerous near-Earth asteroid.

    Astronomers measure the position of an asteroid by comparing with the known positions of stars that appear in the same image as the asteroid. As a result, any tiny error in the catalog of star positions, due for example to the very slow motions of the stars around the center of our Milky Way galaxy, can affect the measurement of the position of the asteroid.


    “We will need to repeat the observation on several different nights using different stars to average out this source of imprecision before we will be able to significantly improve the orbit of Apophis and therefore the details of the 2029 close approach and future impact possibilities,” said astronomer David Tholen, one of the co-discoverers of Apophis, who made the latest observations along with graduate students Marco Micheli and Garrett Elliott.


    They obtained the new images when the 270-meter (900-foot) diameter asteroid was less than 44 degrees from the sun and about a million times fainter than the faintest star that the average human eye can see without optical aid.


    The astronomers will be taking advantage of Apophis’s position for the next few months, as its elliptical orbit around the Sun will take it back into the sun’s glare this summer, making observations – and measurements of its position – impossible. However, in 2012, Apophis will again become observable for approximately nine months. In 2013, the asteroid will pass close enough to Earth for ultraprecise radar signals to be bounced off its surface.


    “Radar observations are important because we can estimate orbital parameters and provides us lots of information about an asteroid’s surface features and internal structure, and how they may have formed,” said Lance Benner, an astronomer at JPL, who specializes in radar imaging of near-Earth asteroids. “We need to know these things if we are going to deflect one of these.” Speaking at the American Geophysical Union conference in 2009, Benner said radar is the most powerful astronomical technique for both finding new asteroids and measuring their orbits.


    “We can measure their velocity to less than 1mm per second, and do this up to 20 million kilometers from earth. Radar helps us compute the trajectory much farther into the future – even up to 300 years, giving us much more advance notice.” Benner said they can routinely image asteroids at 7.5 meters per pixel, and a new system at the Goldstone radar facility will be able to get the resolution down to 1 meter per pixel.


    On April 13, 2029, Apophis will come closer to Earth than the geosynchronous communications satellites that orbit Earth at an altitude of about 36,000 km (22,000 miles). Astronomers say Apophis will then be briefly visible to the naked eye as a fast-moving starlike object.
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    Default Re: NEO 2004 MN4 - Asteriod 99942 Apophis - Impact with Earth

    Russian Scientists: Apophis Asteroid Could Destroy Earth in April 2036



    Meaghan Ringwelski Ė Tue Feb 8, 5:36 pm ET
    Contribute content like this. Start here.
    It seems like apocalyptic predictions concerning large asteroids crop up every year or two. In 2011, the latest scare involves an asteroid that has been in the limelight before: Apophis. In a Jan. 26 report that was issued by Russian scientists, a new prediction concerning the asteroid's possible collision with the Earth was featured. The report has renewed concerns among people around the world about the possibility of the end of life as everyone knows it. However, NASA scientists quickly downplayed the Russian report. While they admit it is theoretically possible for the asteroid to hit the planet, they note that the odds are microscopic; in fact, they put the odds at 1 in 250,000, which should put the minds of most people at ease.


    In 2004, NASA scientists created a stir when they announced that Apophis, a 900-foot asteroid, could hit Earth. Shortly thereafter, however, those same scientists backtracked and stated that the possibilities were beyond remote. The recent report out of Russia claims that the odds are high once again, thanks to a tiny gravitational keyhole. If Russian scientists' predictions are correct, Apophis could slip through the keyhole -- which is permanently placed -- around April 2029. From there, it will make "landfall" with Earth on April 13, 2036. Not surprisingly, NASA has already conducted a great deal of research concerning Apophis. While they note the asteroid will pass closely around 2012 and 2013, they do not believe it will slip through the keyhole -- which is barely larger -- and hit the planet.


    In the event Apophis ends up posing a more serious threat, NASA has the technology to be proactive about the situation. On July 4, 2005, NASA used Deep Impact to impact the Tempel 1 comet. The same type of technology could be used to send Apophis veering off of its intended course. Considering the fact several pairs of eyes are watching the asteroid, everyday citizens should feel safe and secure enough. Additional observations will be even easier to make when Apophis makes its close pass by the planet near the end of the year 2012.



    Note: This article was written by a Yahoo! contributor. Join the Yahoo! Contributor Network to start publishing your own articles.
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    Default Re: NEO 2004 MN4 - Asteriod 99942 Apophis - Impact with Earth

    Russians looking at stopping Apophis asteroid hit in 2036

    09:36 31/12/2009
    The asteroid Apophis isn’t considered by NASA to be much of a risk, but Russian scientists aren’t so sure. The Russians are looking at a “space apparatus” to divert Apophis if it gets too sociable.

    The asteroid will approach Earth in 2029, inside satellite orbits, the closest approach by any object recorded. It'll be visible from Earth. The concern is that this encounter will alter Apophis' orbit, perhaps setting it up for a hit in 2036.


    More in digitaljournal.com


    Dec 30, 2009 by Paul Wallis - 13 comments

    Russians looking at stopping Apophis asteroid hit in 2036


    +

    The asteroid Apophis isn’t considered by NASA to be much of a risk, but Russian scientists aren’t so sure. The Russians are looking at a “space apparatus” to divert Apophis if it gets too sociable.
    The asteroid will approach Earth in 2029, inside satellite orbits, the closest approach by any object recorded. It'll be visible from Earth. The concern is that this encounter will alter Apophis' orbit, perhaps setting it up for a hit in 2036. The idea of a “space apparatus” hasn’t been defined, but obviously looks like an orbiting option. Yahoo has this AFP article, which has been scratched together from Interfax, RIA Novosti and other sources: It quotes the head of Russia’s space agency Anatoly Perminov:
    "We will soon hold a closed meeting of our collegium, the science-technical council to look at what can be done" to prevent the asteroid Apophis from slamming into the planet in 2036, Anatoly Perminov told Voice of Russia radio.
    Apophis is a pretty large object, 320-350 metres across, which Perminov says could create “a desert the size of France”. According to NASA, there are small possibilities of Apophis hitting in 2029, a 2.8% chance, to be exact. The trouble with Apophis is some level of real uncertainty about its orbit, and the fact that it seems from charts to contain a bandwidth of proximity to Earth. Matters are not improved by the fact that it’s out of radar range and out of optical observation range until 2011, according to NASA’s 2007 paper. The predicted position contains variables which could indicate a significant change, or “amplification” of its positional changes after encountering Earth in 2029, setting up the uncertainty about what it will do in 2036. NASA has nevertheless recently updated its figures, and believes that the odds of a hit in 2036 are now “four in a million”. Russia isn’t looking at a nuclear option. That particular concept was effectively scuttled in the 1990s, when it was discovered that some asteroids aren’t really solid, and even if they were, the effect of a nuclear hit could be to produce asteroid shrapnel, a scattergun effect possibly worse than the problem. The orbiting apparatus idea is new, and would require some level of maneuverability, range, and the ability to predict deflection. It would also have more flexibility and more options than a "hit or miss" scenario with a missile. Apophis isn’t in the Deep Impact category, but even a Tunguska-like airburst from a thing that size caused by atmospheric impact would produce massive, nuke-like shockwaves. Impact estimates, according to Wikipedia, (which seems to have been updated to coincide with the Russian statements) are between 1480 megatons (Russian estimate) and 880 megatons (NASA). Krakatoa was 200 megatons. The predicted area of hazard is across central Asia central America and northern South America. (One of the most frustrating things about attempting to get a clear picture of agency responses is the number of sources required. There's plenty of news, but try gluing it into a solid image.From the AFP coverage, you'd think NASA wasn't paying attention, but that's not the case.) Space.com reports that NASA isn’t being quite as relaxed as it sounds from current press releases about a probe being sent to Apophis:
    Concern over asteroid Apophis and the ability to precisely chart its trajectory -- and take steps if needed to deflect the object -- were fervently voiced by the B612 Foundation, chaired by Russell Schweickart, a former Apollo astronaut. The group requested that NASA carry out an analysis that included the possibility of placing an active radio transponder on the object. Doing so at a fairly early date would yield the requisite orbital accuracy of the asteroid as it sped through space.
    The beacon idea is to give an accurate plot, which is what’s missing from the current scenario. The flyby of Apophis in 2029 is expected to alter Apophis’ orbit, and that’s where the problems will be found, if any, with the asteroid’s new course, when it’s modified by the encounter. NASA gave a qualified “yes” to the idea:
    That NASA reply came with an appended detailed analysis by Steven Chesley of NASA'S NEO Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. The study by Chesley dug into Apophis' orbit, under varying conditions, and contained other items pertaining to the space agency's findings about the Apophis matter. "The key conclusion to be taken from this analysis," Cleave ( Mary Cleave, Associate Administrator for Science Mission Directorate) in the letter, "is that aggressive (i.e., more expensive) action can reasonably be delayed until after the 2013 observing opportunity. For Apophis, the 16 years available after 2013 are sufficient to recognize and respond to any hazard that still exists after that time."
    The important science here is that these agencies are developing concepts, rather than exchanging opinions about statistics. Asteroids are a confirmed risk in this neighborhood, with some, like Toutatis, spending time in Earth’s orbit on a regular basis. A working deflection methodology would represent the first useful ideas for asteroid control. Even relatively minor objects are a real threat, able to do considerable damage. Orbiters are a working proposition in theory, it’ll be interesting to see how they operate in practice.





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    Default Re: NEO 2004 MN4 - Asteriod 99942 Apophis - Impact with Earth


    ę Challenger astronauts memorialized on the Moon
    Bill OíReilly: tidal bore Ľ

    Repeat after me: Apophis is not a danger!




    What is it with all the bad media reports of cosmic doomsdays? Betelgeuse last week, giant spaceships before that, and now Apophis. Sigh.


    Hereís the scoop: I was tipped off about this by Jesse Emspak, who writes for the International Business Time (and who wrote a great article about the real opportunities represented by Apophis), and who told me about a Russian news site which, a few days ago, posted an article about the asteroid Apophis with the very menacing title, "Russian astronomers predict Apophis-Earth collision in 2036".


    Sounds scary, right? One problem: itís 100% utter crap.


    Rock will roll on by
    This guy wonít help.
    First, the reality: Apophis is whatís called a near-Earth asteroid; it currently swings near our planet roughly every seven years. In April 2029 it will have an extremely near pass, getting so close it will actually be below our geosynchronous satellites! It will definitely miss us, but thereís a catch: if it passes us at just the right distance, Earthís gravity will warp its orbit just enough that seven years later, Apophis will hit the Earth.


    Let me be very, very clear: the odds of this happening are incredibly low, something like one in a 135,000. I fret about asteroid impacts, as you might imagine, but this one doesnít worry me at all. The odds are so low I worry more about Snooki getting her own three-movie contract.


    The reason the impact odds are so low, but not zero, is that we donít precisely know Apophisís orbit. There is a tiny region of space above the Earth called the keyhole, and Apophis has to pass right through it to have its orbit modified enough to hit us on the next path. We canít know for sure if the rock will pass through the keyhole or not in 2029, but we can apply statistics and calculate that minuscule 0.0007% chance. And maybe itís better to think of it as a 99.9993% chance itíll miss.



    Feel better?


    Apophisalypse

    OK, so whatís with that Russian news article? Besides the breathless ó and totally wrong ó headline, hereís the first line:
    Russian astronomers have predicted that asteroid Apophis may strike Earth on April 13, 2036.
    Bzzzzzt. While technically correct, this gives the strong impression that the odds of impact are high. Thatís irresponsible journalism at best. Yet things quickly get worse:

    "Apophis will approach Earth at a distance of 37,000-38,000 kilometers on April 13, 2029. Its likely collision with Earth may occur on April 13, 2036," Professor Leonid Sokolov of the St. Petersburg State University said.
    Aiieeee! The collision is "likely"? Aiiieee!
    Except for the small fact that, like I said, itís not. In fact, even "unlikely" is way too strong a word for it. Iíd bet my life savings against an impact.
    But the article continues:
    The scientist said, however, the chance of a collision in 2036 was extremely slim saying that the asteroid would likely disintegrate into smaller parts and smaller collisions with Earth could occur in the following years.
    Well, for Pete(resburg)ís sake. Which is it? Likely, or extremely slim? Sigh.
    That last bit is interesting, though. The asteroid would disintegrate? What?
    Now, thatís not a totally crazy idea. Some asteroids are not actually solid; theyíre more like flying piles of rubble held together by their own gravity. Weíve actually seen asteroids like this, so we know they exist. If theyíre big enough, and pass close enough to Earth, our gravity could pull them apart. The thing is, Apophis is only about 250 meters across, which is on the small side for this happen. So why would the article say it might fly apart?


    I decided I needed to go to the source.


    Leonidís meteor
    I did a web search on the astronomer quoted in the article, Leonid Sokolov. I had never heard of him, but of course there are thousands of astronomers on the planet. A little digging on the Ďnet turned him up, and as it happens he is in fact a Russian astronomer and a member of the International Astronomical Union. I found his email address, and sent him a carefully-worded email asking him if he felt the article represented his view fairly.


    I got an email back later that night that was pretty clear:
    This is "bad mass communication", journalist misunderstanding, not "bad astronomy" [...] The probability of Apophis collision in 2036 is VERY-VERY SMALL, but not zero, the probability of Apophis collision after 2036 is VERY-VERY-VERY SMALL, but not zero.
    Aha! As I suspected, we have a case here of a journalist grossly misrepresenting what an astronomer said. I had at first wondered if maybe there was a mistranslation to English, but what Dr. Sokolov is saying is that the reporter really just screwed this up. Massively. And what Sokolov said in his email to me is essentially correct. The odds are very small but not zero, and the odds get even lower after 2036.


    But what about that weird bit about Apophis disintegrating and pummeling us like a shotgun? Sokolov told me:
    In my talk I have spoken about SCATTERING OF POSSIBLE TRAJECTORIES of Apophis after approach in 2029 and possible approach in 2036, NOT DISRUPTION of asteroid!
    Ah, I see. The word "scattering" is where things went awry.



    When we observe an asteroid, we cannot get its precise position in space.


    Thereís always some uncertainty caused by various factors like measurement errors inherent in the images, atmospheric distortions blurring out the image of the asteroid, the effects of sunlight radiation pressure on the orbit, and lots of other things. So we get an orbit thatís not exact, and projecting that into the future makes it even worse. Sometimes that means we have no idea where the rock will be in a decade or two. However, in the case of Apophis, we do have a good enough orbit to nail down its position in April 2029 to a few kilometers, accurately enough to know it will miss, but not accurately enough to know if itíll pass through the keyhole. The most likely path it will take is outside the keyhole, but the uncertainty in the orbit just barely overlaps the keyhole. Thatís why we can say the odds are so low, but not exactly zero.


    So after that pass in 2029, we donít know its exact orbit. Think of it this way: imagine three rocks all lined up next to each other approaching the Earth. One is closest to us, one in the middle, and one farther away. The Earthís gravity is slightly different on each one, so after the pass their orbits are all different. They will move apart over time, the Earth having ó aha! ó scattered them.


    Thatís what Sokolov meant. He calculated the possible orbits of Apophis after it passes us, and sees them diverging. So it was the potential paths of Apophis that get scattered, not the rock itself!


    So the reporter messed that part up too.



    This too shall pass

    This kind of stuff really ticks me off, as you might have noticed. Scaring people is not something I take lightly, whether itís frauds riling up parents about vaccines and autism, or making up stories about nearby supernovae and 2012. You may just blow it off and think that if people donít educate themselves on science, well, caveat emptor. But I think thatís the wrong attitude; the fact of the matter is thereís just too much misinformation out there to expect people to educate themselves on everything. People have lives, theyíre busy, they have other concerns. If they hear something like this and lack the critical thinking or educational background to parse the story correctly, then we are all to blame. Itís up to all of us to get out there and teach people how to separate reality from nonsense.


    And Iím not a fool, I know that thatís impossible to do for everyone. But we can minimize it. And maybe, if we can get to enough folks, weíll reach a critical mass ó a herd immunity, if you will ó where nonsense will find it canít get a toehold. Enough people will know better that such antiscience, antireality thinking may become an endangered species.


    And you know what? Thatís one mass extinction I can live with.

    Image credit: Dan Durda; UH/IA
    Related posts:
    - Apophis danger downgraded
    - In Russia, Apophis impacts YOU
    - No, a 13 year old boy did boy correct NASA
    - Weíre all doomed! Oh wait, no weíre not
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    Default Re: NEO 2004 MN4 - Asteriod 99942 Apophis - Impact with Earth

    Generally I appreciate Phil Platt (with whom I've corresponded several times over the past few years) from Bad Astronomy telling it right and usually like it is.

    And this one set's part of the record straight. I personally dug into this one and could find absolutely ZERO verification. I couldn't locate the kid, or anyone allegedly involved.

    I'd pretty much forgotten the whole thing until today:

    Wednesday, April 16, 2008

    Apophis risk not increased: science fair judges, world media screw up big time


    First the story appeared on April 4 in Germany's 'leading' tabloid ("I have calculated the end of the world ... and NASA says, I'm right"), later in more serious papers ("Nico and the end of the world") - and today, thanks apparently to an AFP story where the writer hadn't found it necessary to check anything, it has taken off around the world. Alas: it's absolute nonsense! The claim is that a 13-year old German schoolboy "discovered" - while working on an entry for a major German science competition - that the 2036 impact probability of asteroid Apophis is not 1:45,000 as the NASA calculation says but actually 100 times higher. Because during the 2029 approach the asteroid would hit a geostationary satellite and be deflected into a much more dangerous orbit. The newspapers also claimed that this boy not only was awarded several prizes for his paper but that NASA had "conceded" that he got it right and they were wrong. We're all doomed, right?

    Well, here's what NASA's NEO guru Don Yeomans told this blog yesterday: "We have not corresponded with this young man and this story is absurd, a hoax or both. During its 2029 Earth close approach, Apophis will approach the Earth to about 38,900 km, well inside the geosynchronous distance at 42,240 km. However, the asteroid will cross the equatorial belt at a distance of 51,000 km - well outside the geosynchronous distance. Since the uncertainty on Apophis' position during the Earth close approach is about 1500 km, Apophis cannot approach an Earth satellite. Apophis will not cross the moon's orbital plane at the Moon's orbital distance so it cannot approach the moon either."

    And here's how one of the German scientists mentioned in the first story, celestial dynamics expert Frank Spahn from Potsdam University, explained events to this blog today: "I indeed had contact with this engaged boy - he asked me which perturbations/forces determine Apophis' orbit and especially during the close flybys. You know that I deal with kinetic theory & celestial mech. in the context of planetary rings, preplanetary disks etc. I explained him the 3 and 4 body problem and gravitational interactions in general. He did not tell me about his idea to consider a collision. This was in January or February. The next time when I heard of him was in in the boulevard journaillie "Bild" - together with my name.

    I asked him to meet me (last Friday), he told me about the asteroid - satellite collision thing (after I asked him how he calculated and "corrected" the NASA result). Then I showed him at the black board about the extremely small collision probability (frequency) with such an object. Seeing the arising problems I attended the set of [German TV news station] N24 and explained the leading responsible person that I appreciate the engagement of that young student but simultaneously I express that one has to mention the low probability of such a collision plus expressing that this is not a correction to NASA. The filming session went on and I had to leave for another meeting. The I saw yesterday that nonsens in TV - and I am shocked. By the way - I haven't seen that paper and the work sofar, Nico told me that his computer disk had a virus so that only hard copies are available which are with the referees of the contest at the moment. So - I do not know how he could have won the competition, obviously the referees were no experts."

    Nor were the writers for the German newspapers or AFP - none of which bothered to ask NASA directly or just consult the impact risk page for Apophis. This is clearly the most used and abused Near Earth Asteroid in many years: Still called 2004 MN4 it briefly reached a record high impact probability for 2029 in late 2004 which quickly evaporated (as always in these cases - so far) when radar data nailed down its orbit in early 2005. And in the following months the remaining impact probability for 2036 also continued to dwindle, to the present 1 in 45,000: You can follow the real science - and the triumph of radar astrometry - on this dedicated NASA website. Which certain Jugend Forscht judges and journalists should have consulted, too ...
    Posted by Daniel Fischer at 2:25 PM
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    Default Re: NEO 2004 MN4 - Asteriod 99942 Apophis - Impact with Earth

    And this press release, which I also missed:

    Dwayne Brown
    Headquarters, Washington
    202-358-1726
    dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov


    April 16, 2008


    RELEASE : 08-103

    NASA Statement on Student Asteroid Calculations

    WASHINGTON -- The Near-Earth Object Program Office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., has not changed its current estimates for the very low probability (1 in 45,000) of an Earth impact by the asteroid Apophis in 2036.

    Contrary to recent press reports, NASA offices involved in near-Earth object research were not contacted and have had no correspondence with a young German student, who claims the Apophis impact probability is far higher than the current estimate.

    This student's conclusion reportedly is based on the possibility of a collision with an artificial satellite during the asteroid's close approach in April 2029. However, the asteroid will not pass near the main belt of geosynchronous satellites in 2029, and the chance of a collision with a satellite is exceedingly remote.

    Therefore, consideration of this satellite collision scenario does not affect the current impact probability estimate for Apophis, which remains at 1 in 45,000.
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    Default Re: NEO 2004 MN4 - Asteriod 99942 Apophis - Impact with Earth

    http://www.radiosantiago.cl/2012/05/...roide-apophis/





    Russian scientists are studying how to avoid the impact of the asteroid Apophis

    Posted by Press in International on May 2, 2012 1:46 PM / 4 comments

    Scientists discuss how to avoid the giant asteroid Apophis colliding with our planet in coming decades in its approach in 2029 and 2036, and warn that you can not wait for that time to prevent the possible impact.


    The engineer Sergei Naroťnkov, Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences believes that the chances that Apophis passes near the Earth at 30 miles away in my 2029 and only affects the satellites that carry television signals, but sees a potential danger to 2036.


    Naroťnkov warns in his interview with Voice of Russia, that a change in its path could be occurring in the following approximation in 2036. In that case, its fall on Earth would be a disaster at the regional level with an impact of about 100 miles and if it falls into the sea, resulting in a tsunami warning.


    The scientific reports that among the options discussed is that of the asteroid white paint for the hot sun plus side than the other, making it change course.


    One option that says previously discussed, is to blow up the asteroid, which in this case, the fragments, if they go to Earth would act like a machine gun, causing perhaps more damage.


    According Naroťnkov, another option you should think, is to put a device near the asteroid, and cause such perturbations do change map. Wait to 2029 to determine these is too late because we have to send it into space.


    The engineer Vitaly Davidov Roscosmos Space Agency of Russia, told Voice of Russia that the impact with the Earth may be larger than the one that occurred in Tunguska, Siberia, on June 30, 1908.


    NASA considers the asteroid Apophis to impact risk level 1 in 2036. In a study published in 2007, the researchers explain that in 2004, when Apophis was discovered, there was talk of a possible impact of 2.7% but was later shown that by 2029 there were no such risks.


    It was also found that it is not possible to predict the time specified, the true trajectory of Apophis as they are modified as they approach the Sun
    The asteroid 99942 Apophis 2004 MN4 will have its next important approach on 13 June 2029 to 37,500 miles from Earth and 81,000 kilometers of the moon on June 14 of that year, according to the latest records from the center of Near Earth Objects Lab Jet Propulsion NASA.
    Source: The Epoch Times
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