A huge asteroid named after the Egyptian God of darkness and chaos will fly past Earth on Friday. According to US space agency NASA, the asteroid called Apophis will be visible around 1:15 am GMT on Friday.
The asteroid was discovered in 2004 and has put scientists on high alert post-discovery. The size has been calculated at 1,200 feet. Earlier it was said that the asteroid has almost one in thirty change of hitting earth in 2029 and a less likely chance of impact in 2026. However, NASA has ruled out the possibilities after closely tracking the trajectory.
NASA’s CNEOS asteroid-tracking database says that Friday’s flyby will see Apophis pass within 10 million miles of Earth. It will then continue on a path around the sun.
To watch the close approach of the Near-Earth Object, people can use a telescope or go to the free livestream operated by the European Virtual Telescope Project.
The asteroid weighs 67 million tons and is travelling at over 3.5 miles per second. It has also been named as “Doomsday” asteroid as it is on a potential collision course with Earth in 2068. Going by its size and speed, NASA calculates the force of impact would be equivalent to 1,200,000 kilotons of kinetic energy. To compare, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 exploded with the force of 15 kilotons of TNT. “Current calculations show that Apophis still has a small chance of impacting Earth, less than 1 in 100,000 many decades from now,” a report by The Sun quoted NASA’s Dwayne Brown as saying. “Future measurements of its position can be expected to rule out any possible impacts,” the report adds.
News Source: DNA India