By: Tech Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: October 29, 2020 7:18:34 pm
A colossal asteroid equivalent to the size of three football grounds might collide with Earth over the course of upcoming decades, as predicted by astronomers. The asteroid ‘Apophis,’ having the size of 300 meters and named after the ‘God of Chaos,’ is seemingly appearing to be getting affected due to Sunlight as it peculiarly drifts away from its orbit.
It is expected that this asteroid will whizz past the Earth on April 13, 2029, when it would be easily visible from the naked eye. Following that, it will rush through the vicinity of the Earth’s communication satellites while it makes a close contact with our world, as revealed by observations made through Subaru Telescope.
According to a study conducted by astronomers of Hawai Institute University of Astronomy, it has been found that the path of asteroid Apophis might be getting affected under the influence of ‘Yarkovsky’ acceleration. Due to such effect, it becomes quite difficult for scientists to predict the path of the orbits of the asteroid and to arrive at a conclusion as to whether the asteroid will hit the planet or not.
Prior to the detection of Yarkovsky effect on Apophis asteroid – scientists ruled out the possibility of the heavenly body crashing into the Earth in the year 2068. But, it is being reported that the asteroid is drifting away by 170 meters per year from its orbit due to Yarkovsky effect. This is enough to substantiate the claim inferring towards the consequences of 2068 impact. The statement comes from Dave Tholen, who is co-author of the paper presented at the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical. In the hindsight, it has further corroborated the fact that giant Apophis might hit the Earth in 2068.
Having said that, Yarkovsky acceleration occurs due to the phenomenon of the asteroids re-radiating their absorbed heat. It happens often that these asteroids go through non-uniform thermal radiation, which means some parts get heated-up more in comparison to the other parts. Further, in order to maintain its thermal equilibrium, the day-side portion of these asteroids absorb Sunlight while the night-side radiate this energy. In this process of radiation, a small thrust gets generated which can either accelerate or decelerate the asteroid on its course. Subsequently, this may lead to a significant change in the orbit of the asteroid.
It is now that the scientists are wary of asteroid Apophis colliding with the Earth due to Yarkovsky effect which can have an impact that can be equivalent to the explosion of 880 million of TNT. In addition, it is also predicted that the destructive consequences after the collision could be 65,000 times more than that of Hiroshima Nuclear disaster. Besides that, astronomers, still believe that this asteroid may hit somewhere in Europe in 2068.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines