Incoming Asteroid Will Get Up to Hundred Chances to Hit Earth, Astronomers Warn

Scientists around the world continue to fret over Apophis, a 325 metre-wide asteroid discovered in 2004 and appropriately named after the Ancient Egyptian god of evil, darkness and destruction.

Apophis, or 99942 Apophis, as it is officially designated, is expected to come within just 37,600 km of Earth – a tenth of the distance between Earth and the Moon, on 13 April 2029, researchers from the Department of Celestial Mechanics at St. Petersburg State University have warned.

In a report prepared for the Korolev Readings on Cosmonautics, set to be held in Moscow later this month, scientists say that the asteroid, which will be moving at about 7.43 km per second, will have multiple chances to strike Earth in the coming decades as it is impacted by our planet's gravity.

"The [asteroid's] approach causes a significant scattering of possible trajectories, among them trajectories indicating convergence in 2051. Further orbital resonance reentries contain a great number (about one hundred) possible collisions between Apophis and the Earth, the most dangerous of them in 2068," the report says.

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