astrogate: To navigate or avigate in space.
Copyright ©2017 by Paul Niquette. All rights reserved.
An assumption was made in the Astrogating Asteroid puzzle -- that Puzzler's orbit is coplanar with Earth's orbit. That assumption was not made explicit. And -- hey, it is wrong.
The Puzzler orbit has an inclination of, say, 30 degrees
with respect to Earth's orbit.
The sketch above shows that Earth is in danger of colliding at orbital intersections with Apollo asteroids independent of their eccentricities -- but only if their orbits are coplanar with Earth's orbital plane. That criterion is not typically emphasized in various NEO references.
With Earth's orbit viewed as circular above, one sees that foreshortening of each asteroid orbit creates the appearance of intersecting orbits as shown to be false in the edge-on views.
Although outside the scope of the Astrogating Asteroids puzzle, it is necessary to take into account all appropriate Keplerian elements in making orbital predictions
In the sketch, that criterion seems not to be met, so then, is Earth really safe from Sisyphus?
Sophisticated solvers must use all six orbital elements to correct the sketch and find the answer.
Solvers, your comments are invited.