Apophis expected to hit Earth in 2068

  • IASbaba
  • November 12, 2020
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Apophis expected to hit Earth in 2068

Part of: GS Prelims and GS-III – Space

In news

  • Asteroid Apophis may hit the Earth in 2068 due to a phenomenon called Yarkovsky effect. 
  • This effect has eventually accelerated the asteroid’s flow and also changed its path.
  • As per the new calculations by astronomers at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, asteroid Apophis, which will also be extremely close to Earth on April 13, 2029, is deviating from its actual orbit and may crash into Earth in 2068.

Important value additions 

  • According to a recent report, the sun can heat an asteroid in a non-uniform way, causing the space rock to radiate heat energy asymmetrically. 
  • This can cause a thrust or a tiny push in a certain direction, sometimes changing the path of the asteroid. 
  • This effect is called the Yarkovsky acceleration.
  • Before the discovery of Yarkovsky effect, the possibility of the collision was impossible. 
  • The detection of this effect acting on Apophis means that the 2068 impact scenario is still a possibility.

Do you know? 

  • The asteroid was discovered in 2004.
  • It is named after the Greek God of Chaos. 
  • It is a 340-meter-wide asteroid. That’s about the size of three-and-a-half football fields. 

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