NASA already has fugitive preparations for the arrival of the asteroid 99942 Apophis – dubbed the 'God of Chaos' asteroid – which will skim past the earth in 10 years. The asteroid measures 340 meters across and will pass within just 19,000 miles of Earth's surface. Apophis is one of the largest asteroids to pass so close to the Earth's surface and collision with the planet has the potential to be devastating for all life on Earth.
The asteroid is set to get closer to the earth than communication and weather satellites and orbit. Most satellites in Earth's orbit are geostationary orbit 36,000 km away (22,236 miles) from the planet.
Apophis is traveling at almost 25,000 mph meaning a slight detour from its trajectory could be catastrophic.
Apophis' size and proximity to Earth are affected in being categorized as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) and NASA is keen to learn as much from the asteroid as possible to help prevent further asteroid issues in the future. NASA scientist are aware that asteroid flies by the planet in 2029, its orbit trajectory may also change thus raising fears that in the future the massive rock could collide with the planet.
The rock is expected to shine exceptionally bright in the sky and pick up speed as it flies across the sky in 2029.
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It will Be traveling so fast it will cross the width of the moon in a minute and be as brightly lit as stars in the night sky.
According to some researchers, the immense size of the rock is not a cause for concern as there is a 1
NASA have fledged preparing to study rock as it flies past the earth and insisted it would be a great opportunity for the world to learn more about similar asteroids.
NASA scientist Marina Brozovic said, "The apophis close approach in 2029 will be an incredible opportunity for science."
Astronomer Davide Farnocchia added: "We already know that the close encounter with Earth will change Apophis' orbit.
The closest approach will be over the Atlantic Ocean, as the evening arrives in the US.
Due to its immense speed, the asteroid is traveling at it will cross the ocean in an hour and continue to fly off into space.
Paul Chodas, CNEOS director added: “Apophis is a representative of about 2,000 currently known Potentially Hazardous Asteroids.
“ By observing Apophis during its 2029 flyby, we will gain important scientific knowledge that could one day be used for planetary defense. ”
Scientists named the rock Adopts after the Egyptian God of Chaos, also known as Apep.