5-speed listening (NASA and Asteroids - Level 2)

Earth safe from asteroid hit for 100 years






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Scientists from NASA confirmed that asteroids will not be a danger to Earth for 100 years. This is good news for people worried about the end of the world. NASA has been checking an asteroid called Apophis for 17 years. They found the 335-metre space rock in 2004. They thought it could be dangerous, so they put it on their list of the top asteroids that could harm Earth. They originally said the asteroid could kill over 10 million people if it hit Earth. They predicted it could hit our planet in 2068. Their latest prediction is that Earth will be safe from Apophis for the next 100 years.

The scientists used radar to predict the asteroid's orbit. A NASA scientist said: "We were able to acquire incredibly precise information about its distance to an accuracy of about 150 meters." She said Apophis is now "a safe distance of 10.6 million miles away from Earth". However, it will come closer in 2029. It will come within 20,000 miles of Earth in that year. Another scientist was glad Apophis is no longer dangerous. He said: "There's a certain sense of satisfaction to see it removed from the risk list, and we're looking forward to the science we might uncover."

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