MOSCOW, July 28. /TASS/. Asteroid 2009 PQ1, which will fly past Earth in August 2020, will pose no threat to our planet, Vice President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, astrophysicist Yuri Balega, told TASS on Tuesday.
"Asteroid 2009 PQ1 will approach Earth this August and, according to all calculations, it will not be dangerous for the planet. Asteroid Apophis will approach Earth in April 2029 to such a close distance that it could be seen with the naked eye. But this asteroid will pose no threat either," he said, adding however that if it gets into Earth’s gravity trap in 2029, it will have more chances to ram our planet in 2036.
"Its chances of colliding with Earth will depend on its flight past Earth in 2029, on whether it gets into our planet’s gravity trap. But even in this event, its chances of hitting Earth are next to zero - about one in 100,000," the scientist said, adding that collision with such an asteroid would leave a crater of three to five kilometers in diameter and a plume of dust from the collision would hide sunlight for a long time.
At the current stage, humankind has no tools to avert a collision with a celestial object, Balega said, adding that scientists are thinking how it can be done. "There are a lot of various ideas how to change an asteroid’s trajectory, from a solar photon sail to a pinpoint blast," he noted.