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The path of an asteroid the size of the Giza Pyramid worries scientists

The path of an asteroid the size of the Giza Pyramid worries scientists

The universe is in constant motion, and although sometimes astronomical events cannot be seen with the naked eye from our planet, there is one event in particular that worries scientists: an asteroid will pass very close to our planet.

This is the asteroid Apophis, which has a diameter of 305 meters, and was named in honor of the Egyptian god of chaos and destruction. For years, NASA scientists have been studying this asteroid, as it could pass 48,300 kilometers from Earth in less than five years.

It was discovered in 2004, and from that moment it raised alarm bells, as astronomers calculated its orbit and predicted that there was a risk of colliding with it in the year 2029.

“Thanks to additional observations from Apophis, the risk of a collision in 2029 has subsequently been ruled out, as well as the potential collision risk posed by another close approach in 2036.” NASA explained that there is still a small possibility of an impact in 2068.

In this sense, on April 13, 2029, Apophis will reach its closest point to Earth, and will be visible with the naked eye. NASA’s OSIRIS-APEX spacecraft will be present to confront the asteroid, and the possibility of joining many small satellites during this mission is being considered, according to the American “space” website.Space.com website‘.

Within the framework of the “NEAlight” project led by aerospace engineer Hakan Kayal from the Julius Maximilian-University of Würzburg (JMU), three spacecraft concepts that will benefit from this unique event have been presented. These satellites will seek to collect data that contributes to a better understanding of the solar system and the development of defensive measures against dangerous asteroids.

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Asteroids that will pass near Earth

According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, two asteroids will approach Earth during the remainder of 2024.

The first is asteroid 2007 FT3, which will pass by the planet on October 3, 2024. It has an approximate size of 340 meters and a magnitude of 20. This asteroid, initially classified as “lost,” has been seen for the first time. In March 2007 in Mount Lemmon, Arizona. Later, it became too faint to observe and disappeared from space. According to NASA, on this date, it will pass 138 million kilometers from Earth, which is equivalent to 360 times the distance between our planet and the Moon. It does not pose any danger to the Earth.

The second is asteroid 20011 Yo1, which is expected to pass on December 17, 2024. It has an approximate size of 3 meters and a magnitude of 20.8. This small asteroid is part of the Apollo cluster and was first discovered on December 17, 2022.

By December this year, asteroid 2022 YO1 has a 1 in 430 chance of hitting Earth. However, the “Star Walk” portal indicates that if it enters the Earth’s atmosphere, it will likely explode like a fireball, without causing any damage to the Earth’s soil.