Pulkovo Observatory expert tells of a celestial body, which is soon to pass very close to our planet, and of the consequences of a hypothetical clash with a similar object
Moscow. November 8. INTERFAX.RU — An asteroid with a diameter of about 400 m will be held on Tuesday from the Earth at a distance of 325 thousand km, which is less than the distance from the Earth to the Moon. Asteroid will pass closest to Earth at 23:28 GMT (3:28 MSK). This is the closest distance at which the heavenly bodies were approaching our planet for 200 years. Before that, as a large asteroid flew by Earth in 1976. The next time an object of this size would be close to the planet in 2028, the year. Despite the dangerous proximity, scientists from NASA research laboratory in California believe that asteroids pose no threat to Earth in the next few hundred years.
Interfax.ru correspondent spoke with a senior fellow at Pulkovo Observatory Sergei Smirnov, who talked more about this celestial body, its features, and we still had about a rapprochement with Apophis.
— During this year, predicted passage of at least 26 asteroids, Near Earth, in addition, for the past few months have been opened new facilities that were not previously known. Among the dozens of the most striking of these objects actually moving closer to our planet. The distance to the asteroid will be in relation to Earth a little less than the moon, this phenomenon will be observed the best observatories in the world, the orbit will be defined more precisely and, therefore, to clarify the circumstances of his future and encounters with Earth. If one of these encounters will face collision with our planet, humanity must take any measures, because the object of this size — about 400 meters in diameter — this is not the meteoroid is a small planet, and, in general, can continental or even cause a global catastrophe.
— Talking about Apophis is an object about the same size, but with a certain orbit, defined circumstances of his encounter with the Earth in 2013, 2029, 2035, respectively. The convergence, which will be in 2013, will clarify the following. Now is too early yet to discuss what will be in 2029: and space systems, and protection from such dangerous objects better, but most importantly — to specify the orbit of the observations the next two years.
Apophis will approach much closer, about 8 times closer, that is up to the distance at which the geostationary orbit, an orbit, which are the most important in our communication satellites, meteorological, gravity surveys, military intelligence, and that's where the perturbation orbits can be quite noticeable. Although not all scientific commentators agree. That's all you need to check the practices.
Interviewed by Natalia Zaitseva
Astronomers discovered the asteroid Apophis in 2004, the size of the object — 320 meters, weight — about 50 million tons. According to specialists, from 2029 to 2036 the first asteroid must repeatedly pass by Earth at a minimum distance