Earth is not alone in the universe. There are a lot of astronauts walking past us. Some of them go a considerable distance, but there are some that are likely to come close. One such space object is asteroid 99942 Apophis. This asteroid passed 1.04 million miles off Earth on Saturday. This distance in itself seems quite high, but the thing to note is that due to the impact on its path this distance may be reduced and in the future it may also touch the earth.
When he passed close to land on Saturday, many people observed him. Some people have also shared his photos and videos on social media. The special thing is that the next time it comes close to Earth in 2029, no equipment will be needed to see it.
The distance will decrease further in 2029
The asteroid Apophis, about the size of 3-4 football fields, is named after the Greek god of destruction. The reason behind this is that if it ever hits the earth, the fall of the atomic bomb will cause thousands of times more devastation. According to the assessment to date, when this asteroid returns close to Earth in 2029, it will be only 19 thousand kilometers away.
A crisis can arise if the path is changed
Due to gravity, the path of asteroids may change. Apart from this, their path can also be altered due to the emission of radiation as the sun melts and then cools. This is called the Yarkovsky effect. Due to the radiation, the force exerted on the asteroid acts as a propellant. However, it is not expected to touch the ground in 2029. It is expected to happen in April 2068, but it is not much either.
The power of this asteroid can be measured by the fact that if it hits the Earth, it will have the same effect as the explosion of 88 million tons of TNT.
Why is it important to watch asteroids?
Not only that, scientists have the chance to study them if asteroids pass near Earth. Terrestrial telescopes collect information on their surface. Asteroids are believed to contain stories from the beginning of the universe and can reveal not only the origin of the universe but also the beginning of life on Earth.
Many answers are hidden in asteroid samples
In a recent study, it was found that there is evidence for the presence of water and organic matter from a sample from the asteroid Itokawa. The sample was brought to Japan by Hayabusa Mission. The Hayabusa 2 mission also brought samples from the asteroid Ryugu last year and they too will be studied for life. At the same time, NASA’s Osiris-Rex spacecraft has collected samples from the asteroid Bennu and will return to Earth in 2023.
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