During the asteroid Apophis’ most recent flyby in early March, astronomers were busy taking observations of this infamous space rock. After extensive observation and study, NASA’s scientists declared that the Earth is relatively safe from the impact of this large asteroid for the next 100 years.
- Apophis is a near-Earth asteroid with a relatively large size (it is about 1,100 feet – or 335 meters – wide).
- It made headlines in 2004 when its initial observation found that it could hit the Earth in 2029.
- Apophis should pass on April 2029 at a nominal distance of 19,662 miles (31,643 km) from Earth’s surface, but this was later rejected by NASA’s scientists.
- These are small to large bodies orbiting the Sun, in the central region of the planet Mars and Jupiter.
- The first asteroid, Ceres, was discovered in 1819 by Giuseppe Piazzi.
- To protect Earth from the impact of the asteroid, NASA is developing a mission called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART).
- The number of asteroids currently known is 1,048,565. They originated from broken sections, as a result of the explosion of planets. The Hayabusa robotic spacecraft of Japan has succeeded in sending a sample of asteroid soil called Itokawa to Earth.
Source: Indian Express