Scientists prepare for their last good look at asteroid Apophis before 2029 flyby
On March 5, wave hello to the most infamous asteroid that won’t slam into Earth in 2029. Scientists sure will.
Astronomers first spotted the space rock now known as Apophis in 2004. It’s precisely the sort of object that most humans probably want to know about: It’s awfully big and occasionally comes uncomfortably close to Earth. Friday, April 13, 2029, is one such occasion, when Apophis will skim so close to Earth that it will pass through the realm of particularly high-altitude satellites.
Scientists are excited. They’ve calculated just how rarely an object this large passes this close to Earth. “This something that occurs about once every 1,000 years, so obviously, it is generating a lot of interest,” Marina Brozović, a radar scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, told Space.com.