Asteroid flying past Earth

A 900 foot wide asteroid made the latest in a series of close approaches to Earth tonight. There is a chance it could collide with the Earth in 2036.

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Apophis asteroid seen flying past Earth

The Asteroid Apophis is named after the Egyptian demonic serpent-spirit of destruction.

Approaching the earth tonight, scientists have been monitoring its movements to help predict its path in the future.

In 2029 it is expected to fly past the Earth at a distance of 30,000 km, with a one in 250,000 chance it could hit Earth in 2036.

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One in 250,000 chance asteroid could hit Earth in 2036

Slooh collects images from observatories from around the world Credit: www.events.Slooh.com

There is a one in 250,000 chance that asteroid Apophis could hit Earth in 2036.

The asteroid, which is slowly approaching earth tonight will allow experts to examine risk, of how likely it is to hit.

Slooh, a web based sky service, collects images from observatories around the world.

Members of the public can view the event online via their website.

Experts will assess risk of asteroid impact in 2036

The current approach of Asteroid Apophis is important as it gives experts the chance to examine it and assess how great the risk to us is in 2036.

  • This is not the first time Apophis has approached earth, discovered in 2004 by astronomers, Apophis was calculated at the time to have a one in forty five chance of it hitting the Earth in 2029
  • Improved prediction models have eliminated those concerns, but there still is a chance Apophis could impact Earth sometime in the distant future, perhaps as soon as 2036
  • This time, the asteroid will pass within nine million miles from the Earth, according to NASA, this is close enough that the asteroid was designated a "potentially hazardous" asteroid

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