The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has shared some good cosmic news. The US space agency has said that the earth is safe from massive asteroid Apophis for at least the next 100 years. Asteroid 99942, which has been named Apophis, was first spotted in 2004. The 1,100 feet rock was supposed to come close to earth in 2068 and there were even chances of collision. However, the radar observation of NASA has now ruled out any such possibility. Davide Farnocchia of NASA said that there is no such threat of a collision in 2068. “Our calculation shows that there is no impact risk from the asteroid for at least the next 100 years,” Farnocchia, who studies near-Earth objects at NASA, said.
Apophis has an outer space situates route through close to earth. It was previously assumed to have an impact risk in 2029. But that was always a very low chance of around 2.7 per cent. This was based on the calculation in 2004. Later it was ruled out completely. Similarly, there was a chance of collision happening in 2036. It had a 1 in 250,000 chance of happening. While both the scenarios were ruled, the possibility of impact in 2068 remained a cause of concern. But recent data collected after a distant flyby has ruled out any possibility of its impact with the earth.
“With the study of data available from recent optical observations and additional radar observations, we have more certainty about its future motion. So we can easily remove Apophis from the risk table,” Farnocchia said. The risk table is a catalog that has all the details about the spaceborne objects with their probability of making an impact with the earth. After the latest data and observation collected on March 5, the scientists at NASA has assured that there is no chance of any collision between the asteroid and the Earth.