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Asteroid Flyby In 2029 Still A Concern Warns Russian Astronomer

The ride in looks great until...
by Staff Writers
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Oct 03, 2007
An asteroid, discovered in 2004, could pose a threat to Earth in 2029, the director of the Institute of Astronomy said Monday. Boris Shustov said at an international space forum in Moscow that the Apophis asteroid, which is due to cross earth's orbit in 2029 at a height of 27,000 km (17,000 miles), could under certain conditions hit Earth in 2029.

The explosion could surpass the famous Tunguska explosion of June 30, 1908, which affected a 2,150 square kilometer (830 sq miles) area of Russia felling over 80 million trees in the Krasnoyarsk Territory in Siberia.

The meteoroid's air blast was estimated to be between 10 and 20 megatons in TNT equivalent or 1,000 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The explosion caused a shockwave around 5.0 on the Richter scale.

However, the asteroid is not likely to repeat the plot of Hollywood blockbusters, as modern technology would allow the asteroid's orbit to be corrected using small satellites, Shustov said.

"To blast an asteroid, as some hot shots suggest, is quite an unpredictable step, and a more cautious approach is welcomed now," he said.

He said that a microsatellite with 10 liters of fuel could correct the path of the space body.

Source: RIA Novosti

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Thompson Files: To save humanity
Arlington, Va. (UPI) Sep 25, 2007
I know how the world ends, and it isn't with a whimper. You can see humanity's epitaph etched in advance by simply gazing up at the moon on any evening and observing the vast craters created by ancient asteroids hitting the lunar surface. (Loren B. Thompson is CEO of the Lexington Institute, an Arlington, Va.-based think tank that supports democracy and the free market.)

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