There is no risk to humanity from asteroid Apophis. NASA has announced that the asteroid will not hit the planet. There were predictions that Apophis could hit Earth in 2068. However, NASA has rubbished the possibility of any impact on Earth. The agency said that Earth is safe from Apophis. Asteroids are space rocks. These small rocks orbit the Sun just like other planets. They are also touted to be minor planets. NASA’s statement said that Apophis will not have any impact on Earth for at least a century. NASA’s calculation is based on data collected during a new radar observation campaign. Astronomers analyzed its orbit thoroughly to rule out any kind of threat from Apophis.
Apophis is classified as a near-Earth asteroid. It is large in shape from other asteroids. Its width is approximately 335 meters. It was discovered in 2004. The rock was initially predicted to hit Earth in 2029. But NASA later said that it will not hit Earth in 2029. It, however, predicted that the space rock will make a close approach to Earth in 2029. NASA added that there will be no impact on humanity when Apophis passes Earth. Apophis gained the title of notoriety because of predictions that it could pose a threat to Earth. Past observation said that the asteroid could make another close approach to Earth in 2036. Notably, Apophis flew past Earth in March. This gave an opportunity to astronomers to observe it minutely.
Apophis passed at a very safe distance last month. It was nearly 17 million kilometers far. Astronomers used powerful radar observations to study its orbit. They used the Goldstone Observatory to make observations. It is a satellite ground station based in California. This provided them with some precise data. The data ruled out any risk for the next 100 years including in 2068. NASA said that the orbit of Apophis has collapsed significantly from hundreds of kilometers than past’s projection. Based on the new findings, NASA has removed the asteroid from the risk list. Astronomers added that the latest observation also opened a wonderful science opportunity to measure such risks.