Asteroid three times the size of a football field could hit Earth in 2068

Nicknamed the 'God of Chaos', the asteroid is gaining speed as it travels towards Earth



By Web Report

Published: Wed 28 Oct 2020, 4:13 PM

Last updated: Wed 28 Oct 2020, 4:25 PM

Researchers have claimed that an asteroid, three times the size of a football field, is hurtling towards Earth and can possibly make an impact in 2068.

The asteroid Apophis, named after the Egyptian deity of chaos, is speeding up due the Yarkovsky effect which scientists claim increases the possibility of an impact with Earth, an event previously thought "impossible".

It is being pushed around by sunlight and is accelerating due to the Yarkovsky effect which comes into play when thermal radiation is no longer uniform, researchers at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy added.

"The new observations we obtained with the Subaru telescope earlier this year were good enough to reveal the Yarkovsky acceleration of Apophis," said astronomer Dave Tholen.

"They show that the asteroid is drifting away from a purely gravitational orbit by about 170 metres per year, which is enough to keep the 2068 impact scenario in play," added Tholen who has been tracking the motion of Apophis in the sky since he and his team discovered it in 2004.

Aphophis, which is over 1,213 feet wide and could cause an explosion as big as 880 million tonnes of TNT, will make an "extremely close" approach to the Earth on Friday, April 13, 2029, and will be visible to the naked eye, reported 9news.com.au.

While in July this year, NASA spotted a pyramid-sized asteroid, big enough to destroy a city, three weeks before it's fly-by.


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