|Manu||Date: Wednesday, 17-February-2021, 10:19 AM | Message # 1|
|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. 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.
(It will not hit Earth. Do not panic. Carry on.)
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.
Get ready to explore the wonders of our incredible universe! The "Space.com Collection" is packed with amazing astronomy, incredible discoveries and the latest missions from space agencies around the world. From distant galaxies to the planets, moons and asteroids of our own solar system, you’ll discover a wealth of facts about the cosmos, and learn about the new technologies, telescopes and rockets in development that will reveal even more of its secrets.
The March flyby won't be nearly as stunning as the 2029 close approach; Apophis will come only one-tenth of the average distance between the Earth and the sun, more than 40 times as distant as the moon is from Earth. But scientists have big goals for Apophis' 2029 flyby, and in order to get the most out of that opportunity, they need to know as much as possible about the space rock.
And next month is their last real chance to study Apophis before the big day.
"Apophis in 2029 is going to be a really incredibly observing opportunity for us," Brozović said. "But before we get to 2029, we are preparing."
Read more/full article/source - https://www.livescience.com/asteroi....xDONJl8