SpaceJibe

October 7, 2009

Phew! NASA Downgrades Asteroid-Strike Threat

Filed under: Asteroids, Inner Solar System, Near Earth Objects (NEOs) — bferrari @ 2:35 pm

LOS ANGELES — NASA says the chances of an 885-foot (270-meter) asteroid striking Earth in 2036 have been downgraded.

Scientists initially believed there was a 1-in-45,000 chance that Apophis could hit the planet on April 13, 2036. But NASA said Wednesday the threat has been dropped to 1-in-250,000 after it recalculated the asteriod’s path.

Earth got a scare in 2004, when initial readings suggested the newly discovered Apophis seemed to have a chance of hitting in 2029. Further observations ruled out any possibility of an impact.

Apophis is scheduled to make a close but harmless approach in 2029.

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