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chasey
2010-Jan-01, 10:09 AM
Hi guys,

Before I ask this, no I am not a 'end of the world' nut - just curious :-)

I was reading today about the 'near miss' by the 99942 Apophis asteroid in 2029 and how it may cross a gravitational key hole coming straight back to us...

My question really is looking at the orbit of the asteroid it crosses our path twice... Has it been there since the formation of the solar system? If so surely it has had a thousand chances to hit us by now - and if so how have we managed to avoid it?

I brought my first serious telescope this year so all I am hoping for is a chance to get a sneak peak in 2029! Happy Holidays! - C

slang
2010-Jan-01, 12:25 PM
Welcome to BAUT, chasey, and happy new year.


My question really is looking at the orbit of the asteroid it crosses our path twice... Has it been there since the formation of the solar system? If so surely it has had a thousand chances to hit us by now - and if so how have we managed to avoid it?

It probably formed early in the solar system history. I don't think it's always been in the orbit it's in now, 4 billion years is a very long time. Why hasn't it hit? Space is big, planets are small, asteroids smaller yet. I haven't seen much on the history of Apophis, it seems there is more interest in the immediate future for it, for some reason. :) Here's a NASA page (http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/apophis/) about it. If you use the search function of this forum you'll find a lot of threads on Apophis as well.