Apophis hit the headlines in December 2004. Six months after its discovery, astronomers had accrued enough images to calculate a reasonable orbit for the 300-metre chunk of space rock. What they saw was shocking.There was a roughly 1 in 300 chance of the asteroid hitting Earth during April 2029. Nasa issued a press release spurring astronomers around the world to take more observations in order to refine the orbit. Far from dropping, however, the chances of an impact on (you've guessed it) Friday 13 April 2029 actually rose.By Christmas Day 2004, the chance of the 2029 impact was 1 in 45 and things were looking serious. Then, on 27 December astronomers had a stroke of luck.Looking back through previous images, they found one from March on which the asteroid had been captured but had gone unnoticed. This significantly improved the orbital calculation and the chances of the 2029 impact dropped to essentially zero. However, the small chance of an impact in 2036 opened up and remains open today.While there is no cause for alarm, similarly there is no room for complacency either. Apophis remains on the list of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids compiled by the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center.Although most asteroids are found in the belt of space between Mars and Jupiter, not all of them reside there. Apophis belongs to a group known as the Aten family. These do not belong to the asteroid belt and spend most of their time inside the orbit of the Earth, placing them between our planet and the sun.That makes them particularly dangerous because they spend the majority of their orbit close to the sun, whose overwhelming glare obscures them to telescopes on Earth rather like a second world war fighter ace approaching out of the sun.read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/across-the-universe/2013/jan/07/apophis-potentially-hazardous-asteroid-earth-wednesday
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
What I find interesting about this firstly is "friday the 13th 1979" I was born so the date of the possible asteriod impact is on my birthday :) Friday 13 April 2029.Also the thought just went through my mind could this be the possible time of the great tribulation where the earth will end and humanity will be judged?If it is should we not be living our lives in godly sobriety (2 Peter 3) and holiness preaching the Good News of the Gospel and living apart from the fleshly lusts that men are partaking in?
Hey Greg! You put three sepearte posts on about this asteroid...it certainly got your attention!Do you think we need a threat of an asteroid to to remind us to live godly lives?