'Doomsday Asteroid' Even Bigger Than Thought
And there's still a chance it could hit us in 2036
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jan 10, 2013 10:47 AM CST
The asteroid, via the European Space Agency.   (ESA via NASA)

(Newser) – The asteroid Apophis, whose reported threat to our planet has attracted widespread attention, is even larger than scientists believed, according to new images. Europe's Herschel Space Observatory says the asteroid is some 1,066 feet feet wide, some 20% wider than previously thought. That "translates into a 75% increase in our estimates of the asteroid's volume or mass," says the study's leader. Fortunately, we survived yesterday's passage, and reports that there was a 2.7% chance it would hit Earth in 2029 have been debunked.

But scientists are still investigating the asteroid, which will pass near us again in 2036, LiveScience notes. At that point, there remains a one-in-200,000 chance of a collision, the BBC reports. "There is a small region of space—something we call a keyhole—and if it passes through that keyhole in 2029, it will come back and hit us on 13 April in 2036," says a scientist. It would carry 100 times the energy of our biggest nuclear weapons, he adds. "While there is no cause for alarm, similarly there is no room for complacency," writes Stuart Clark at the Guardian, which has video.

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Showing 3 of 54 comments
texron
Jan 16, 2013 9:30 PM CST
I will be only 84 ...why do I have to die so young ?
Wydeeyed
Jan 11, 2013 8:23 PM CST
"It would carry 100 times the energy of our biggest nuclear weapons, he adds. "While there is no cause for alarm, similarly there is no room for complacency," writes Stuart Clark at the Guardian, which has video." So what does this tell us. While all of the nuclear weapons are not 1 1/100th of the power of this asteroid there are more than 23,500 of them . Even if all nukes average out to 50% of it's power then we can do almost 120 times more destructive harm to ourselves than this asteroid would. I believe that is without the harmful effects of radiation. Complacency already in place. Something to think about.
ren1999
Jan 11, 2013 8:42 AM CST
John Titor said he was from 2036 because he is warning us that this asteroid will hit in 2036?