Asteroid Apophis: A Close Encounter with Earth on April 13, 2029


Asteroid 99942 Apophis, discovered in 2004, quickly gained notoriety due to its potential threat to Earth. Estimated to be about 1,100 feet (340 meters) across, Apophis was initially considered one of the most hazardous asteroids that could impact our planet. Astronomers predicted that it would come uncomfortably close in 2029, sparking concern.

On April 13, 2029, Apophis will pass within an astonishing 20,000 miles (32,000 kilometers) of Earth’s surface. To put this in perspective, that’s closer than the distance of geosynchronous satellites! During this close encounter, Apophis will be visible to observers in the Eastern Hemisphere without the aid of telescopes or binoculars. 

Thanks to additional observations and precise orbit analysis, astronomers have ruled out any impact risk for at least a century. Here’s how the risk assessment evolved:

2029 Close Approach: Initially, there was concern that Apophis might collide with Earth in 2029. However, subsequent observations ruled out this possibility.

2036 Close Approach: Another close approach in 2036 was also deemed safe.

As Apophis zips past our planet, astronomers and space enthusiasts will watch in awe. Fortunately, this time, Earth is safe from any impact. The cosmic ballet continues, reminding us of the wonders and mysteries of our universe.

Images sourced from Newsweek, Time Magazine, New York Times and Google Images.

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