(ORDO NEWS) — Astronomers came to a not entirely happy conclusion: the asteroid Apophis, named after the god of chaos, picks up speed as it approaches our planet. The collision may occur in 2068.
The information about the acceleration of Apophis was confirmed by scientists from the University of Hawaii. Acceleration is due to non-uniform radiation acting as a motor. It is called the Yarkovsky effect: a body heated during the day is accelerated during cooling.
Previously, astronomers were confident that a collision of Apophis with the Earth is impossible, but recent measurements indicate otherwise. If nothing changes, then the fall will occur on April 12, 2068. The consequences could be catastrophic, the scientists noted.
The width of the “pebble” is 304 meters. The fall will be tantamount to an explosion of 880 million tons of trinitrotoluene. The body was discovered on June 19, 2004 by specialists from the Kitt Peak National Observatory (Arizona). Apophis moves in an orbit around the star, making a complete revolution in almost an Earth year.
Regular observations showed that the asteroid’s speed increased significantly, and the flight trajectory changed. Every year there is a deviation from the initial route of 170 meters. Astronomers believed that with such successes, humanity should expect a massive catastrophe in 2068.
Apophis is the third object on the Sentry Risk Table, which contains the most dangerous bodies that threaten our planet. No one excludes that the fall on our planet will occur sooner or later: everything depends on the further behavior of the object.
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