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Title: Yarkovsky-driven impact risk analysis for asteroid (99942) Apophis
Authors: D. Farnocchia, S. R. Chesley, P. W. Chodas, M. Micheli, D. J. Tholen, A. Milani, G. T. Elliott, F. Bernardi

We assess the risk of an Earth impact for asteroid (99942) Apophis by means of a statistical analysis accounting for the uncertainty of both the orbital solution and the Yarkovsky effect. We select those observations with either rigorous uncertainty information provided by the observer or a high established accuracy. For the Yarkovsky effect we perform a Monte Carlo simulation that fully accounts for the uncertainty in the physical characterization, especially for the unknown spin orientation. By mapping the uncertainty information onto the 2029 b-plane and identifying the keyholes corresponding to subsequent impacts we assess the impact risk for future encounters. In particular we find an impact probability greater than 10^-6 for an impact in 2068. We analyse the stability of the impact probability with respect to the assumptions on Apophis' physical characterisation and consider the possible effect of the early 2013 radar apparition.

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Asteroid 99942 Apophis (2004 MN4)
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The 270 metre wide asteroid 2004 MN4 will make a close pass (37.6 lunar distances, 0.0967 AU), travelling at 4.09 km/second, to the Earth-Moon system on the 9th January, 2013 @ 11:43 UT 00:01.

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The Lunar Distance (LD), the distance between Earth and the Moon, equals 384,401 km, (or 0.00256 AU).



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Doomsday device: Russian beacon to track menacing asteroid Apophis

Russia's space agency wants to send a mission to Apophis, the notorious asteroid which may change its course and eventually collide with Earth. It will plant a radio beacon, which will help track the celestial body and assess the risks it poses.
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Asteroid (99942) Apophis
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Google earth file: Asteroid (99942) Apophis 2012.kmz (18kb, kmz)



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Donald Yeomans is head of NASA's Near Earth Object Program. He confirms that Apophis will come close with the Earth's gravitational pull in the year 2029 and if it hits a certain "keyhole" it has a chance of swinging back around and it will head for Earth once again. But Donald Yeomans assures us that the chance of it hitting the Earth even then is still highly unlikely. Russia did their own calculations and they think Yeomans calculations are slightly off and his predictions are extremely premature. Russian scientists think that when Apophis passes the Earth's very strong gravitational pull on April 13, 2029, it will be a bit closer than what was earlier predicted. Passing the Earth that close will change the pathway of the killer asteroid Apophis, making it quite a possibility of it colliding with the Earth.
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Apophis
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Potentially dangerous space rock caught on film

Astronomers tracking the potentially dangerous asteroid Apophis made a major breakthrough in January, snapping the first pictures of the space rock in more than three years, researchers announced Thursday.
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Hawaii Astronomers Keep Tabs on Asteroid Apophis

On January 31 University of Hawaii at Manoa astronomers used the UH 2.2-meter telescope on Mauna Kea to take the first new images in over three years of the potentially dangerous near-Earth asteroid Apophis as it emerged from behind the sun.
The object became famous in late 2004, when it appeared to have a 1 in 37 chance of colliding with Earth in 2029, but additional data eventually ruled out that possibility.
However, on April 13, 2029, the asteroid, which has a 270-m diameter, will come closer to Earth than the geosynchronous communications satellites that orbit Earth at an altitude of about 36,000 km. Apophis will then be briefly visible to the naked eye as a fast-moving starlike object.

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Southampton experts have devised a hi-tech tool to prepare for the single greatest natural disaster hazard facing humanity.
The software has been developed by the University of Southampton with the UK Space Agency and reveals the massive space rock could cause millions of deaths depending where on earth it slams into.

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Asteroid (99942) Apophis
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Asteroid (99942) Apophis makes its closest approach to the Earth (1.219 AU) on the 9th February, 2011.


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Asteroid Once Seen As Danger Offers Chance For Close Study

An asteroid that once was seen as a danger to the Earth may soon be a once-in-a-century opportunity to get a close look at one - and learn more about the ones that really are a hazard.
The asteroid is called Apophis. It's a near-Earth asteroid that is a type called a chondrite, essentially a stony body that has a high silicate content and few metals. It is about 330 meters across, and it's due to pass the Earth in 2029.

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