Approximately a decade from now, apparently, a rather massive rock is going to have a close encounter with our planet, more exactly on Friday the 13, the month of April, 2029. Apophis, the massive asteroid will pass by Earth at a distance of 19,000 miles, scientists say.
To better understand the matter, the Moon is around 225,000 and 252,000 miles away from Earth all the time. This encounter is going to be a serious close one, but Space.com reportedly said that the event will be a day of celebration for researchers, and not something of a bad augur. This, because the next decade will provide scientists around the globe a chance out-of-this-world as they research what measures they might have to take one day if a massive space rock would ever be a threat to the survival of humanity and Earth.
Scientists debated at the annual Planetary Defense Conference that has been held this week in Maryland the large ranging research opportunities that the asteroid flyby will bring along, while giving insights into what the large public can expect when the asteroid will make its pass.
Another interesting note to this is that the 1,000-foot wide asteroid will sail so close to our planet that it will be visible with the naked eye, without needing a telescope, as it will be sufficiently bright, appearing alike a star in the night sky, but moving at a high speed.
The asteroid presents no risk to Earth during its pass in 2029. Its trajectory has been mapped out and studied in great detail and it’s clear now that there is no chance of it colliding into the Earth. Well, at least not in 2029, because as we glance into the future, it is much more complicated to predict the asteroid’s path due to the probable course altering of the Earth’s gravity.
Astronomers can’t completely cut off the possibility that the rock will pose a threat during its pass after 2060, at the moment. But even so, if Apophis were to one day seem to be on a collision path with Earth, researchers will be highly familiar with it by that time and the studies being done now and until 2029 could be helpful.
Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada’s most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca