First labelled 2004 MN4, the 400m-wide asteroid was in 2005 given the more interesting name of 99942 Apophis after an Egyptian snake-god (or an alien character from Stargate SG-1, depending on who you believe). It continues to be observed for an expected close passing in 2029 instead of 2036.


Asteroids on a collision course with Earth - should we worry

Everyone’s seen science fiction B movies where aliens are trying to invade the Earth and destroy life as we know it.

So far that we know, no aliens have visited the Earth yet, but there is concern by scientists of the possibility of a visitor from space in the form of an asteroid affecting life on Earth.

While many astronomers are kept busy with deep space research by studying nebulas, galaxies and other interesting anomalies in the greater voids of space, other scientists are looking for asteroids and other large chunks of material left over from the formation of our solar system and beyond.

Government agencies and private individuals are diligently searching the nighttime skies with little funding to try to locate these rogue space missiles before they arrive on our doorstep unannounced.

In the past millions of years, Earth has had many near misses, but most everyone has heard of the one that didn’t miss Earth 65 million years ago. It ended the reign of the dinosaurs and set the stage for mammals to step up to the plate.

In the past 600 million years, there have been five major mass extinctions that on average extinguished half of all species on Earth. The largest mass extinction to have affected life was in the Permian-Triassic, which ended the Permian period 250 million years ago and killed off 90 percent of all species living on Earth.

These large devastating impacts don’t happen very often on Earth, but it would be nice to know if any asteroids are headed our way in the near future.

When a large enough chunk of space rock is detected as a potential threat to Earth because of its size, careful mathematical measurements and calculations are worked out for its trajectory and the possibility of it’s impacting the Earth sometime in the future.

So, you may ask, are there any asteroids out there with a flight plan to visit Earth sometime in the near future? Actually, there is one rock that has caused some concern among scientists called 99942 Apophis.

This asteroid is about three football fields in size and weighs in excess of several hundred thousand tons. The fact that it’s traveling at nearly 100,000 miles per hour, combined with its size, makes it pretty clear that the Earth’s atmosphere would have virtually no effect on slowing this rogue missile down before impacting the Earth.

Believe it or not, on Friday the 13th, in 2029, 99942 Apophis is scheduled to come within one-tenth of the distance the Earth is from the Moon. Some might say the date alone seems like somewhat of a bad omen.

When it does arrive, the asteroid will be close enough to be easily visible to the naked eye as it hurtles past the Earth on is course through our solar system. Even though this distance seems close, scientists estimate there is only a one in 45,000 chance of it hitting Earth.

That’s not the problem though. Apparently, asteroid 99942 Apophis is approaching so close to the Earth in 2029 that our gravitational pull will change its trajectory slightly as it rockets past Earth at 20 to 40 miles per second.

Once the asteroid’s trajectory changes, we have a whole new situation to deal with. Scientists can’t predict how much the Earth’s gravitational pull will affect the asteroid’s trajectory, but they do know its course will be altered.

Once scientists figure out its trajectory, they will have about seven years to figure out if Earth will be a target during its next pass-by in 2036.

So, if an asteroid the size of 99942 Apophois did hit the Earth, would it have the same devastating effect the last asteroid had when it impacted Earth 65 million years ago?
Probably not, since the asteroid that smashed into the Yucatan Peninsula close to the current Mexican town of Chicxulub was around six miles in diameter, scientists estimate.

In comparison, asteroid 99942 Apophis is a mere 900 feet across but still weighs in excess of hundreds of thousands of tons; the crater that this mountain of rock would carve out if it collided with Earth would destroy an area the size of Texas.

Since the Earth’s surface is more water than land, there’s a good chance the asteroid would impact in the ocean. If this type of impact occurred, tsunamis would wreak havoc on thousands of miles of coastline. Either way, the consequences would be severe.

Allen Marquette is the education coordinator for the Prince William Sound Science Center.

Asteroid 2007 TU24 has NASA concerned.


Asteroid To Make Rare Close Flyby Of Earth
 January 29. 2008

ScienceDaily (Jan. 24, 2008) — Scientists are monitoring the orbit of asteroid 2007 TU24. The asteroid, believed to be between 150 meters (500 feet) and 610 meters (2,000 feet) in size, is expected to fly past Earth on Jan. 29, with its closest distance being about 537,500 kilometers (334,000 miles) at 12:33 a.m. Pacific time (3:33 a.m. Eastern time). It should be observable that night by amateur astronomers with modest-sized telescopes.

Asteroid 2007 TU24 was discovered by the NASA-sponsored Catalina Sky Survey on Oct. 11, 2007. Scientists at NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., have determined that there is no possibility of an impact with Earth in the foreseeable future.

"This will be the closest approach by a known asteroid of this size or larger until 2027," said Don Yeomans, manager of the Near Earth Object Program Office at JPL. "As its closest approach is about one-and-a-half times the distance of Earth to the moon, there is no reason for concern. On the contrary, Mother Nature is providing us an excellent opportunity to perform scientific observations."

Asteroid 2007 TU24 will reach an approximate apparent magnitude 10.3 on Jan. 29-30 before quickly becoming fainter as it moves farther from Earth. On that night, the asteroid will be observable in dark and clear skies through amateur telescopes with apertures of at least 7.6 centimeters (3 inches). An object with a magnitude of 10.3 is about 50 times fainter than an object just visible to the naked eye in a clear, dark sky.

NASA detects and tracks asteroids and comets passing close to Earth. The Near Earth Object Observation Program, commonly called "Spaceguard," discovers, characterizes and computes trajectories for these objects to determine if any could be potentially hazardous to our planet.

Adapted from materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Asteroid 2007 TU24 has NASA concerned. NASA has there full focus and attention on this asteroid. All software applications support staff have been directed to devote their time specifically to running solutions on this Near Earth Object. They are running solutions with different inputs and the results are so close to direct impact that NASA has decided not to update the online simulator with these results. When you look at the current solution online the last orbit determination parameter is from January 1, 2008. This data is 11 days old.;orb=1  Orbit Diagram

11 day old data for an object that has been getting closer and closer to us in each successive run is not normal protocol. Normal procedure would have the solutions posted online every two to three days at the beginning of the 30 day window which was December 29, 2007. As the window of time shrinks the data is refreshed with more frequency. The lack of refreshing the data online is suspicious and should raise some eyebrows amongst those who have intimate knowledge of how the astral community operates.

NASA is about 50/50 as to whether this asteroid will impact Earth. The dynamic variable that is in play is whether or not Earths gravity will pull the asteroid in. The trajectory angle that the asteroid is approaching from is the southern hemisphere. The solutions currently show numerous scenarios impacting Earth. The solutions that favor a Southern hemisphere impact are the most serious. These solutions are a direct straight on impact. The Northern hemisphere solutions vary widely from because there is the likelihood that the asteroid will fragment as it traverses Earths atmosphere. There is no possible way of knowing with 100% certainty how much this object will fragment if the Northern hemisphere solution pans out. The solutions that have this NEO missing Earth have it passing perilously close to satellites in orbit and the International Space Station.

This is a very fluid situation that literally changes by the minute. NASA is keeping a tight lip on the situation as they do not know with certainty what will transpire. The game plan in these situations is to avoid civil unrest and end of day’s paranoia. This is to ensure that the privileged class can make it easily to their safe havens, which are underground bunkers. 

You Tube shows animation of asteroid vs earth

Video #2 -

If is not available, try this one:


Near-Earth Asteroid 2007 TU24 to Pass Close to Earth on Jan. 29 - Should be Observable with Modest Sized Telescopes

Don Yeomans
NASA/JPL Near-Earth Object Program Office
January 22, 2008

Asteroid 2007 TU24, discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey on October 11, 2007 will closely approach the Earth to within 1.4 lunar distances (334,000 miles) on 2008 Jan. 29 08:33 UT. This object, between 150 and 600 meters in diameter, will reach an approximate apparent magnitude 10.3 on Jan. 29-30 before quickly becoming fainter as it moves further from Earth. For a brief time the asteroid will be observable in dark and clear skies with amateur telescopes of 3 inch apertures or larger.

For an interactive illustration of this object's orbit see:

The illustration below is courtesy of amateur astronomer Dr. Dale Ireland from Silverdale, WA. The illustration shows the asteroid's track on the sky for 3 days near the time of the close Earth approach as seen from the city of Philadelphia. Since the object's parallax will be a significant fraction of a degree, observers are encouraged to use our on-line Horizons ephemeris generation service for their specific locations. These personalized ephemeris tables can be generated at:

Given the estimated number of near-Earth asteroids of this size (about 7,000 discovered and undiscovered objects), an object of this size would be expected to pass this close to Earth, on average, about every 5 years or so. The average interval between actual Earth impacts for an object of this size would be about 37,000 years. For the January 29th encounter, near Earth asteroid 2007 TU24 has no chance of hitting, or affecting, Earth.

2007 TU24 will be the closest currently known approach by a potentially hazardous asteroid of this size or larger until 2027. Plans have been made for the Goldstone planetary radar to observe this object Jan 23-24 and for the Arecibo radar to observe it Jan 27-28 and then Feb 1-4. High resolution radar imaging is expected, which may permit later 3-D shape reconstruction.



The Associated Press

Space scientists and government officials are tracking two massive objects that are hurtling toward Earth, but only one, a dead satellite the size of a bus, is expected to hit somewhere on the globe.

Government officials said Saturday that a large U.S. spy satellite has lost power and could hit Earth in late February or early March. And an asteroid at least 500 feet long will make a rare close pass by Earth early Tuesday, but scientists say there is no chance of an impact.

The satellite, which no longer can be controlled, could contain hazardous materials, and it is unknown where it might come down, said the government officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the information is classified as secret.

"Appropriate government agencies are monitoring the situation," says Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council.

John Pike, director of the defense research group, estimates that the spacecraft weighs about 20,000 pounds and is the size of a small bus. Satellites have natural decay periods, and it's possible this one died as long as a year ago and is just now getting ready to re-enter the atmosphere.

Jeffrey Richelson, a senior fellow at the National Security Archive, says the spacecraft probably is a photo-reconnaissance satellite. Those are used to gather information from space about adversarial governments and terror groups and to survey damage from hurricanes, fires and other disasters.

The closest approach of the asteroid, known as 2007 TU24, is expected to be at 334,000 miles, or about 1½ times the distance of Earth to the moon.

The nighttime encounter should be bright enough for medium-size telescopes to get a glimpse, says Don Yeomans, manager of the Near-Earth Object Program Office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which tracks potentially dangerous space rocks. The closest approach is expected to be at 3:33 a.m. ET.

The asteroid TU24 is one of an estimated 7,000 so-called near-Earth objects.

An actual collision of a similar-size object with Earth occurs on average every 37,000 years.

Spotted in October by the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona, TU24 is estimated to be 500 to 2,000 feet long.

The next time an asteroid this size will fly this close to Earth will be in 2027.

Contributing: Reuters

Contributing: Reuters

It's all right folks, that was just a massive asteroid

January 30, 2008 09:33am

Article from:

A MASSIVE asteroid that was first spotted only four months ago has just zoomed past Earth.

The space rock, uninspiringly named TU-24 and roughly 250m in diameter, passed by at only around 1.4 times the moon's distance from Earth.

Boffins who scan the sky for asteroids on potentially deadly trajectories first saw the rock on October 11 last year.

Yesterday astronomers got a good look at the asteroid, which was so big that it would have caused devastating regional damage had it struck Earth's surface.

DC Agle, a spokesman for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, said: "I can confirm it came the closest to Earth ... and it's on its way, away from Earth".

TU-24 flew by at 4.30pm AEDT yesterday.
Earth was never in danger of being struck by the asteroid as it passed within 538,000km of our planet, or 1.4 times the Moon's distance from Earth.

The asteroid's fly-by "is the closest until at least the end of the next century", JPL senior astronomer Steve Ostro said.

"It is also the asteroid's closest Earth approach for more than 2000 years."

For a brief period, the asteroid was visible in dark and clear skies with amateur telescopes of 7.5cm or larger.

NOTE: David Sereda says a source of his alludes to a contact at Lockheed, we may have sent a craft to divert the orbit of TU-24

Around 6:00 p.m. fireballs were seen coming down in California and some people saw a white light fly around the fireball pieces -  so maybe it really did hit earth after it was broken up.
Orange And LA County, California Falling Object Comes To A Complete Stop - Hover

 Posted: January 27, 2008

Date: January 26, 2008 Time: 6:00 p.m.

Location of Sighting: Orange and LA County. Number of witnesses: 2 Number of objects: 2+ Shape of objects: Glowing orbs.

Full Description of event/sighting: My husband and I were driving approximately west bound at about 6:00pm PST. In the sky was a bright, glowing light falling toward earth with a bright tail of light. First thought that it was a falling star, but both of us realized it was huge and too close to the earth for that and said to each other, its going to crash into the earth. Then it stopped falling and appeared to hover, the tail of light extinguished and the main ball of light remained very bright. It faded in and out and then traveled horizontally very quickly. Another glowing light seemed to be circling around it in a wide pattern.

Both very bright lights, brighter than airplane headlights. Farther away from these two was another light, blue, and very small. It seemed to be circling these in a very wide pattern and we thought it to be airplane watching the phenomenon. We didn't pull over and kept driving toward them, but, they got lower to the horizon and we lost sight of them behind trees as the road we were on dipped. When we got back to an unobstructed spot, the lights were gone. The event lasted about 5-10 minutes. Despite the highly visible, quite spectacular and unusual display in the night sky, not one report of it could be found on news stations or in the OC Register. In discussing it's location, we estimate that it was approximately 50 miles away which would make it over LA County even though we were seeing it from Orange County.

Thank you to the witness for this fascinating sighting report.

Brian Vike, Director HBCC UFO Research and host of the Vike Report UFO Eyewitness radio show. email: Website:,, HBCC UFO Research International:

Radio show host for the Vike Report, eyewitness relating their experiences.

Just added, the Vike Report Radio Show Blog. You can check the blog out for archived radio shows and all the new and upcoming programs I do.

HBCC UFO Research, Box 1091 Houston, British Columbia, Canada - VOJ 1ZO


Apophis is not a Threat to Our Planet

Apophis the Asteroid

Russian scientists claim asteroid, named Apophis, is not dangerous for the Earth; however, it’s a perfect target for testing methods for preventing collisions with cosmic bodies.
      Recently NASA’s subcommittee on space and aeronautics approved NASA’s 2009 budget, where it requested to consider possible threat from mentioned asteroid. In 2029 the Apophis asteroid is expected to be only 36 thousand km away from the Earth.
      In case of Apophis’s collision with our planet, the explosion will be 100 thousand times more powerful than Hiroshima’s nuclear attack.
      Russian scientists say that NASA officials use innocent cosmic body as another way of getting money of taxpayers. Solar system has numerous cosmic bodies, flying around. Experts name a minimum of 10 million asteroids, piercing the space around the Sun and its planets. Several years ago a couple of asteroids were much closer to Earth than Apophis, but no one ever regarded them as a threat.
RIA Novosti