Asteroid Apophis is accelerating from sunlight as scientists recalculate the odds of a 2068 impact


Astronomers say they will have to keep an eye on the asteroid near the Earth Apophis to see the danger that space rock represents to our planet during a close pass in 2068. But don’t panic: the chances of an impact still seem very low.

Under certain circumstances, the sun can heat an asteroid unevenly, causing space rock to radiate heat energy away asymmetrically. The result can be a small push in a certain direction, an effect called Yarkovsky acceleration, which can change the path of a asteroid through space.

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