Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Saturday 12 January 2013

Asteroid 'Apophis' (2004 MN4) eliminated as Earth-collision risk

NASA has 2 days ago finally been able to eliminate Asteroid 'Apophis' (2004 MN4) as a risk for an Earth-collision in 2036 - see the NASA website here to read more about this re-assuring news.

Earlier orbit calculations some years ago had eliminated the risk of an Earth-collision in 2029; at one point in December 2004 the risk of this particular collision had been set as high 2.7 percent - it briefly reached a classification of 4 on the Torino Scale at the time. I wrote an article here on 25th December 2004 ('Christmas Day') about the seeming threat then, with updates over the next few days. With the Indonesian Tsunami which happened early on the morning of 26th December ('Boxing Day') that year and which I wrote about here a few days later it seemed then that life on Earth was becoming pretty precarious - unfortunately the estimates of 125,000+ deaths in the immediate aftermath were dwarfed in later updates, it now being believed that upwards of 230,000 (possibly upto 280,000) people perished in the hours that followed the underwater earthquake off the north-west coast of Sumatra and the subsequent tsunamis which affected countries all around the Indian Ocean.

In any case, NASA's latest update on Asteroid 'Apophis' (2004 MN4) at least means that major regional destruction, at the very least, from this 270 metre object is no longer a danger. Which certainly merits a modest 'Cheer!' in my view.

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