Near-Earth asteroid passing Earth

Solar System

(Very) Small Chance of Apophis Asteroid Impact in 2068

The subtle effect of sunlight may turn the near-Earth asteroid Apophis toward Earth in 2068 . . . but chances for impact remain small.

Solar System

A Tumbling Apophis: Good News for Earth

Careful observations of asteroid 99942 last January show it to be both elongated and tumbling — which is good news to the celestial dynamicists trying to predict this body's future close brushes with Earth.

Apophis in 2029

Solar System

Asteroid Apophis Takes a Pass in 2036

The early results are in from a giant radar dish tracking asteroid 99942 Apophis, and it's good news for planet Earth: there's essentially no chance that this threatening object will hit us in 2036.

Science and Space Policy

If An Impact Looms, Then What?

A group of scientists, policy-makers, and science journalists recently tackled the tough who-where-how-and-why questions that will have to be answered if astronomers discover an asteroid or comet on a collision course with Earth.

Solar System

The Sky is Not Falling

This past week, news surfaced that a sizable asteroid has a roughly 1-in-1,000 chance of whacking Earth sometime in the next two centuries. But don't let the news spoil your summer vacation — the story is being overplayed.

Solar System

Less Ado About Apophis

Now you can make plans for April 13, 2036, without worrying about a giant space rock crashing into Earth and ruining your day.

Science-based Q&A

If asteroid 99942 Apophis ever strikes Earth, how big would the crater be?

If the near-Earth asteroid 99942 Apophis ever strikes Earth, how big would the crater be? Apophis (formerly 2004 MN4) ranks at the top of the worrisome-asteroid list. On April 13, 2029 (yes, that will be a Friday the 13th), it will pass only 30,000 kilometers (18,600 miles) from Earth’s surface…

Apophis and Earth in 2029

Science-based Q&A

Will asteroid 99942 Apophis eclipse the Moon when it passes by?

When I heard that a 300-meter asteroid will approach Earth at a distance of only 18,000 miles in 2029, I figured it was time to break out the old slide rule. Wouldn't an object that big and close be able to eclipse the Moon, if it should pass in front…