At some point in the Earth’s future, it’s highly likely an asteroid will collide with the surface, but if scientists are to be believed, that point in the future will not occur in 2036. After a new round of study and some equation adjustments, NASA experts have reduced the chances of the asteroid Apophis hitting us from highly unlikely to less than one in a million.

The twenty-two million ton asteroid first came to the attention of scientists in 2004. According to CNet, the initial fear was that it could strike the Earth in 2029. Three years later, a new running of the numbers indicated it would miss us by less than 20,000 miles at that point but could reemerge in 2036 on an actual collision course. Luckily, that potential crisis has now been ruled out as well.

Saying “ruled out” might seem like a funny choice of words given there is still a little less than a one in a million chance, but since there’s a chance of almost anything happening and scientists are constantly crunching numbers and scenarios, probabilities coming in at less than one in a million are typically written off.

Apophis is a little bigger than three football fields. Had it collided with the Earth, it would have done some real damage. As it stands, it will be nothing more than a mild curiosity and a close shave more some two plus decades from now.

Image Credit: Triff




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