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Killer asteroid Apophis to make close approach to Earth tonight

Just the size of a little over three football fields wide, asteroid Apophis crosses Earth's orbit.

  • The Earth and its inhabitants appear safe for now, but there is still a 1/250,000 chance Apophis could strike Earth in 2036 after passing through a “gravity keyhole” in 2029, when it will be only 18,000 miles from Earth.

    Artist David A. Hardy shows an artist conception of an asteroid collision with Earth.

    Artist David A. Hardy shows an artist conception of an asteroid collision with Earth.

    To give you an idea of how close that is, that’s where communications and GPS satellites orbit.



    Apophis is shown at a distance of 9.3 million miles among the stars.  It is over three football fields wide in diameter.

    Apophis is shown at a distance of 9.3 million miles among the stars. It is over three football fields wide in diameter.

    If it passes through the right spot in 2029, it will make a return trip to Earth and in 2036 could smash into the planet generating a blast equivalent to 500 megatons of TNT.

    You’ll need a telescope to see Apophis in the night sky tonight. One reason for this is the small size of Apophis and its great distance from Earth.

    Here is video of Apophis moving among the stars in the sky.

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