Giant Apophis Asteroid Will Pass Next to Earth in 2029

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Friday the 13th might sound like an unlucky date, but it might be in fact one of the luckiest days in the existence of humanity. Apophis asteroid is a 340-meter wide asteroid that will pass close to our planet. Initially, NASA believed that there is a chance that it will collide with our planet. However, that possibility was ruled out after new calculations.

However, researchers don’t want to miss this opportunity and when the asteroid will cruise past our planet, researchers will have a flyby study as well. A session dedicated to Apophis took place on Monday during the 2019 Planetary Defense Conference in College Park, Maryland.

“Fortunately, Apophis asteroid will not hit Earth in 2029, but the closeness of its approach will provide an excellent opportunity to study and perhaps send a spacecraft to this potentially hazardous asteroid. But suppose another asteroid is discovered and found to be on a collision course. What would we do? We might be able to deflect the object, but could our leaders provide funding and make other decisions at critical points? How would the public react if using a nuclear explosive was the only option for deflection?” explained researchers.

Giant Asteroid Will Narrowly Miss Earth Impact

A hypothetical impact scenario was also taken into consideration and researchers shared the results of this study. The asteroid will fly within 31,000 km of our planet’s surface, which means that it will be closer than some of our satellites. Scientists did confirm that this asteroid would be dangerous if it were to hit our planet: “it would cause major damage to our planet and likely to our civilization as well.”

Apophis is also the name of the “ancient Egyptian spirit of evil, darkness, and destruction”. The Apophis name is the one given by the Greek to the Egyptian demon Apep.


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