Scientists say asteroid could hit Earth—on April 13, 2036

Contributed by
Jun 25, 2015

Russian scientists have concluded that an 1,100-foot-long asteroid could hit the Earth—and they even have an exact date for its impact.

According to the Huffington Post, researchers at St. Petersburg State University have marked April 13, 2036, as the date that the asteroid, named Apophis, might strike the planet. Professor Leonid Sokolov said that while the chances of impact were slim, all possible outcomes should be planned for. He also said that Apophis could break up into smaller pieces that could smack into the Earth in years to come.

NASA scientists, however, remain skeptical. Donald Yeomans, head of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office, said, "Technically, [the Russians are] correct, there is a chance in 2036 [that Apophis will hit Earth]." But he added that the odds were 1 in 250,000.

This isn't the first time that Apophis has caused astronomers' heart rates to rise. The asteroid made headlines several years ago when scientists determined that there was a better than 2 percent chance it could crash into us in 2029. The chances of an event in 2029 have been pretty much eliminated through further study, but now it seems we have 2036 to worry about.

Huffington Post has posted a handy visualization of what an impact event would look like, just to keep you awake at night for the next 25 years!

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