Apophis, the “Doomsday” Asteroid, Is Bigger Than Thought, NASA Says

The asteroid may or may not hit us in 2036, must be closely monitored

By Laura Sinpetru on January 10th, 2013 13:52 GMT

Only yesterday, the news broke that our planet was to receive yet another visitor: an asteroid whose name, Apophis, was inspired by an ancient Egyptian demon.

Now that this space rock has finally come close enough to our planet for NASA to be able to use its Herschel Space Observatory to have a closer look at it, ordinary folks get to receive new information concerning its hallmarks.

According to the official website for NASA, the asteroid is both bigger than previously estimated, and less reflective. Thus, its average diameter is not one of 885 feet (270 meters), as previously argued, but one of 1,066 feet (325 meters).

As well as this, it looks like it will fail to impact Earth in 2029. “Apophis is expected to make a record-setting -- but harmless -- close approach to Earth on April 13, 2029, when it comes no closer than 18,300 miles (29,450 kilometers) above Earth's surface,” NASA says.

For the time being, scientists are to continue closely monitoring this asteroid, seeing how data collected up until now suggests that there is a slight chance that it will hit our planet in 2036.
The Apophis asteroid is bigger than previously estimated, NASA says
   The Apophis asteroid is bigger than previously estimated, NASA says
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