NASA Says Asteroid Apophis Won't Impact Earth in 2036

Posted on January 12, 2013

Apophis Image

NASA scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced that they have ruled out the possibility the asteroid Apophis will impact Earth during a close flyby in 2036. The scientists used information obtained by NASA-supported telescopes in 2011 and 2012, as well as new data from the time leading up to Apophis' flyby of Earth on January 9th.

Don Yeomans, manager of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office at JPL, said in a statement, "With the new data provided by the Magdalena Ridge [New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology] and the Pan-STARRS [Univ. of Hawaii] optical observatories, along with very recent data provided by the Goldstone Solar System Radar, we have effectively ruled out the possibility of an Earth impact by Apophis in 2036. The impact odds as they stand now are less than one in a million, which makes us comfortable saying we can effectively rule out an Earth impact in 2036. Our interest in asteroid Apophis will essentially be for its scientific interest for the foreseeable future."

JPL's Near Earth Object Office maintains a twitter about potentially hazardous asteroids called @AsteroidWatch.

Photo: UH/IA

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