MOSCOW, September 5 (Itar-Tass) —— The Yarkovsky effect, a force acting on a rotating body in space caused by the anisotropic emission of thermal photons, which carry momentum, was not taken into account in the calculation of the orbit of Asteroid Apophis, but it practically brings to zilch the probability of its collision with the Earth, leading researcher of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Astronomy Institute Viktor Shor said.
Experts predict that the asteroid would pass the Earth at the distance of 38,000 kilometers on April 19, 2029. “The orbit of Apophis will change under the influence of the Earth gravity. Information is insufficient for calculating its further trajectory,” he said.
A possible collision with the Earth is predicted for 2036.
The Russian Astronomy Institute, the U.S. Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Italian Pisa Institute are updating information about the Apophis orbit. Shor said different opinions had been voiced.
“We think the Yarkovsky effect was not taken into account in the orbit calculation. This effect may seriously change the Apophis orbit,” he noted.
In addition to 2029 and 2036, the asteroid will pass at a hazardous distance from the Earth in 2051, 2058, 2066, 2074 and 2089.
The asteroid was discovered in 2004. Its diameter exceeds 200 meters, so the collision with the Earth will be disastrous for thousands of kilometers.