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Apophis Asteroid Could Hit Earth In 2036, Scientists Say (VIDEO)

First Posted: 02/09/11 12:43 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:30 PM ET

Apophis Asteroid is back in the news after a Russian report concluded it could hit Earth in 2036. They even have a date for the potential impact.

"It's likely collision with Earth may occur on April 13, 2036," Professor Leonid Sokolov of St. Petersburg State University concluded, though he also said the chances of that happening are extremely slim, according to UPI.

Even though the chance of impact is slim, Sokolov said it's important to plan for all possible scenarios, per Russian state news agency RIA Novosti. He added the asteroid is most likely to disintegrate into smaller parts that could collide with Earth in following years.

The Apophis Asteroid made headlines in 2009 when scientists predicted a greater than 2 percent chance of impact.

NASA scientists are cautious about the prospect.

"Technically, they're correct, there is a chance in 2036 [that Apophis will hit Earth]," said Donald Yeomans, head of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office. But that chance is just 1-in-250,000, Yeomans added.

UPDATE: While the Apophis asteroid is merely a bit larger than two football fields, it's also interesting to watch the following visualization of a much larger -- but only theoretical -- impact. As Bad Astronomy reminds us, the asteroid depicted here is NOT comparable to Apophis, as the one in the video is many times larger and there is nothing this big being tracked that could reach Earth in your lifetime (or your grandkid's). That was unclear in an earlier version of this story, which included a video that was incorrectly labeled by another site. Bad Astronomy has more background on this cool (and scary) visualization.

WATCH:

By the way, be sure to check out our end of the world Photoshop competition in HuffPost Comedy.

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Filed by Craig Kanalley  |