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NASA: Good News! The World Won’t End in 2029 or 2036

The Unraveling of the Apocalypse Hype

Hey, remember the doomsday scare on December 21, 2012? Well, here’s some reassuring news straight from NASA: we can all breathe a sigh of relief because the world isn’t going to end in 2029 or 2036 either. So, let’s rest a little easier knowing that the demise of our time on this planet won’t be coming from a celestial catastrophe anytime soon.

Apophis: The Near-Miss Asteroid

In case you haven’t heard about Apophis, let me fill you in. It’s a massive asteroid, approximately the size of three and a half football fields, that was initially believed to be directly headed for Earth. This triggered another wave of doomsday predictions, which seem to have become a regular occurrence since the infamous “Millennium Bug” scare.

Apophis was first detected in June 2004. Scientists initially calculated that it had a 2.7 percent chance of colliding with Earth during its first pass in 2029, while others dismissed this notion and predicted a more likely impact on its subsequent return seven years later. Unfortunately for those hoping to profit from Apophis-related merchandise or rooting for an apocalyptic finale, reality turns out to be far less cataclysmic than those early calculations suggested.

The Rosier Reality

Subsequent analysis of the initial reports revealed that a collision in 2029 was highly unlikely. However, the possibility of a later impact when Apophis returned was still on the table—until now. Last week, NASA released new information about Apophis, recorded on Wednesday, January 9 (yes, they were specific). This data shows that while the asteroid will come relatively close to Earth in cosmic terms, a collision with our planet is almost certainly impossible. Instead, NASA suggests that Apophis will pass by at a safe distance of 15 million kilometers (9.3 million miles)—more than enough to ensure our continued survival.

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NASA’s Reassurance

Don Yeomans, the manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office, addressed the public’s concerns in the official announcement of our near-miss encounter. He stated that NASA scientists have effectively ruled out the possibility of Apophis hitting Earth in 2036. Yeomans confidently stated, “The odds of impact, as they stand now, are less than one in a million. This allows us to comfortably assert that an Earth impact in 2036 is effectively ruled out. Our interest in asteroid Apophis will primarily be for the sake of scientific exploration in the foreseeable future.” So, for now, you can put away your apocalypse go-bags and stockpiles of dehydrated food. We’re going to be just fine.

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