An expert warned that Earth getting hit by the massive asteroid Apophis is more likely to happen than a person dying in a plane crash.

The chilling statement was made by Bryan Walsh, the former international editor for Time Magazine and the author of the book “End Times,” which focuses on the existential threats that Earth faces.

According to Walsh, Earth is still in danger of getting hit by the Apophis asteroid. First discovered in 2004, the asteroid made headlines after it was first reported that it had a 2.7 % chance of hitting Earth in 2029. Upon further observations, NASA eventually ruled out a collision event in the near future.

However, as other scientists pointed out, Apophis’ close-Earth approach in 2029 could alter the asteroid’s path. They warned that as the asteroid passes by Earth, it could get affected by the planet’s gravitational pull.

This means that it might get nudged into a direct collision path with Earth on its future approach. Scientists predicted that this might happen in April 2068.

“We already know that the close encounter with Earth will change Apophis’ orbit,” astronomer Davide Farnocchia said according to Express. “But our models also show the close approach could change the way this asteroid spins and it is possible that there will be some surface changes, like small avalanches.”

According to NASA, the chance of Apophis colliding with Earth in 2068 is one in 150,000. This figure suggests that an impact event caused by Apophis would most likely not happen. Walsh, however, has a different perspective on the possibility of an asteroid impact.

“The chance of Apophis hitting Earth over the next century is microscopic 0.00089 percent as of 2019 – though that is higher than your chance of dying in a plane crash,” Walsh said.

Walsh’s perspective on Apophis’ chances of hitting Earth is very alarming especially given the number of airline accidents reported regularly.

If the asteroid collides with Earth, the explosion from the impact would be equivalent to 880 million tons of TNT, which is over 60,000 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan in World War II.

Pictured; an artistic illustration of an asteroid flying by Earth. NASA