NASA: 'Doomsday Asteroid' Poses no Threat
[An Nahar] A space rock popularly dubbed the "doomsday asteroid" because of fears it could smash into Earth a couple of decades from now poses no risk, NASA said after new observations of the object.
Asteroid 99942 Apophis was scanned by optical telescopes and deep-space radars as it made a flyby this week, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) said in a press release.
Named after the god of evil and darkness in Egyptian mythology, Apophis sparked a scare when it was first detected in 2004.
Early calculations suggested a 2.7-percent probability of collision in 2029, the highest ever for a detected asteroid, but this risk was soon discarded after further observations.
A question mark, though, remained over an impact for April 13, 2036, which NASA initially put at one in 45,000 and then lowered to one in 250,000.
The new observations show that even this remote probability can be excluded, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said in the statement Thursday.
Posted by: Fred 2013-01-13