No! Apophis 99942 will not hit the Earth, at least for 100 years. Apophis was discovered in 2004 and caught the attention of scientists because they predicted a 2.7% chance of Apophis hitting Earth by 2029.
Apophis was the first ever asteroid that got a rating of 2% for the chances of hitting Earth, the chance was predicted as 1 in 300. But the same day the chance dropped to 1.6% after 64 further observations (according to a Torino scale rating out of 4).
However, recently, all of these predictions are declared wrong and there is no chance that Apophis will hit Earth. The keen observations showed that the trajectory of the asteroid skips Earth, instead, it includes the Sun, therefore, the chances of the asteroid hitting Earth simply dropped to zero (according to the Torino scale rating).
On the other hand, it is expected that Apophis will pass by Earth (on April 14, 2029, and 30 March 2036). However, the asteroid will stay far away from Earth and will not come any closer than 31,600 kilometres or 19,600 miles above Earth.
How big is the asteroid Apophis?
The Apophis is about 1210 feet across (in the metric system it is approximately 370 metres in diameter). It is taller than the Eiffel Tower with a mass of 41010. And the density of 2.6 g/cm3.
It is a Near-Earth type of asteroid (NEO). NEO is a type of body that gets attracted to the Gravitational pull of any surrounding planet (as Apophis is closer to Earth) and comes close enough that they are considered a potentially hazardous asteroid.
How far is Apophis 99942 from Earth?
The asteroid Apophis is currently 227,197,440 kilometres away from Earth. But it will closely pass by Earth on Saturday, April 14, 2029. Surprisingly, the asteroid is above the horizon from Greenwich (United Kingdom) and can be seen in the West-South-West direction.
What would happen if Apophis hit Earth?
The PHO (Potentially Hazardous Object) Apophis 99942 will cause massive destruction and a massive energy release if it hits Earth. The energy release will be about 1000-1100 megatons of trinitrotoluene or commonly known as TNT. The destruction may spread across hundreds of kilometres.
If the Apophis asteroid were to hit Earth, it would be catastrophic. The impact would cause global destruction on an unprecedented scale – from tsunamis and earthquakes to widespread firestorms. Due to its size and speed, the resulting explosion upon hitting Earth would produce energy equivalent to billions of tons of TNT – enough energy that it could potentially affect our planet’s climate for years or even decades..
Where will the asteroid hit on Earth?
The chances are, it will hit ocean land rather than populated areas. Earth is covered with about 75% of water and 25% land. And if that is the case, precisely it will be ocean land that will get hit by the asteroid.
How much damage would Apophis do?
First, we need to understand that it will not hit Earth in the coming years (2029-2036), however, if Apophis hit Earth by any chance, it will cause severe destruction that will be widespread across hundreds of kilometres.