There is some good news this week. NASA officials say Planet Earth is safe from being hit by an asteroid that scientists have been studying for years.
According to NASA Asteroid Apophis will not be slamming into planet Earth within the next 100 years. After first being discovered in 2004, it was once thought that Apophis could pose a risk to the planet by 2068.
Scientists were apparently able to look at new data collected and able to rule out a threat to Earth according to NASA’s website.
Estimated to be about 1,100 feet (340 meters) across, Apophis quickly gained notoriety as an asteroid that could pose a serious threat to Earth when astronomers predicted that it would come uncomfortably close in 2029. Thanks to additional observations of the near-Earth object (NEO), the risk of an impact in 2029 was later ruled out, as was the potential impact risk posed by another close approach in 2036. Until this month, however, a small chance of impact in 2068 still remained.
When Apophis made a distant flyby of Earth around March 5, astronomers took the opportunity to use powerful radar observations to refine the estimate of its orbit around the Sun with extreme precision, enabling them to confidently rule out any impact risk in 2068 and long after.
NASA now officially says that a strike on Earth in 2068 is “out of the realm of possibilities”. Of course this doesn’t rule out any other asteroids crashing into Earth, but at least we can rule this out. So if you are looking for some good news to end your week with, here you have it.