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Joined: 2002/12/11
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"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 Close pass with asteroid Apophis to be streamed live by Slooh

The 300 metre-wide asteroid will make the first in a series of close approaches to the Earth tomorrow since it was first discovered in 2009.

Starting from 11am (AEDT), you can watch the Slooh Space Camera track the ominously-named Apophis once it moves clear of the Sun's glare.

Scientists have ruled out any possibility of a devastating collision this time - but there remains a chance of the asteroid smashing into Earth in 2036.

Apophis, named after an Egyptian god of destruction, will not get closer than around 15 million kilometres.

In 2029, Apophis is expected to come uncomfortably close, brushing past the Earth at a distance of just 30,000 kilometres. That will put the asteroid inside the orbit of communication satellites.

'Killer' asteroid makes its first pass

Current models predict a small but real possibility that Apophis will strike the Earth in 2036 - but only if the space rock passes through a 1km square "slingshot" in space when it crosses our orbit in 2029.

This is why scientists are so keen to get exacting measurements of the rocks weight, density, colour and shape. All will contribute towards an exact model of the asteroid's orbit.

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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2013/1/9 10:06Profile

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