Asteroid Apophis – Will it Hit Earth in 2029?

Space News: Asteroid Apophis will make the closest approach to Earth on Friday, April 13th, 2029. Asteroid Apophis will be the biggest and closest thing ever known to come near Earth.

With a diameter of around 370 meters (1,210 feet), this potentially dangerous object briefly raised worry in December 2004 when preliminary measurements suggested there was a 2.7% chance it would strike Earth on April 13, 2029.

Is there a chance that Asteroid 99942 Apophis will hit Earth?

Asteroid Apophis will zip past our planet at a reassuring distance of approximately 19,794 miles (31,860 kilometers) and it will dip below Earth’s communication satellites. The communication satellites are in geosynchronous orbit which is 22,236 miles (35,786 kilometers) above Earth’s equator.

There is an interval range where if it threads that keyhole which is about 700 miles range. If its orbit goes through that range, Earth’s Gravity can alter its orbit and it can hit Earth. So Apophis’ orbit will depend on Earth’s gravity that how will Earth’s gravity affect Apophis’ trajectory. However, it is unlikely that Apophis will hit Earth.

NASA’s Mission to Aporphis:

Starting in April 2029, shortly before the asteroid Apophis approaches Earth closely, NASA‘s OSIRIS-APEX mission will investigate the asteroid for eighteen months. The refurbished OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, known as OSIRIS-APEX, brought back to Earth a sample of the asteroid Bennu in September 2023.

OSIRIS-APEX will investigate how Apophis’ rotation rate and surface characteristics are affected by Earth’s gravity. We will learn more about asteroids like Apophis from the trip, including how to divert one that is headed straight for Earth.

From where we will be able to see the Asteroid Apophis?

Asteroid Apophis will be seen on April 13, 2029, from western Asia, Africa, and Europe. It will appear as a fast-moving, moderately bright star (magnitude 3.1) in the sky.

What would happen if Apophis strikes Earth?

If Asteroid Apophis hits Earth it would destroy vast areas up to several hundred kilometers away from the point of impact. Tens to hundreds of nuclear bombs’ worth of energy, or more than 1,000 megatons of TNT, would be unleashed.

What is Asteroid Apophis?

Because of its orbit around the Sun, Apophis is a near-Earth asteroid, which means that it is located 1.3 times closer to Earth than the Sun. Apophis 99942 is the full name of the Asteroid Apophis.

Apophis garnered a lot of media interest when it was found in 2004 and is estimated to have a 2.7% probability of striking Earth in 2029. It briefly had a probability of striking Earth in 2036 as well. According to further observations, it won’t strike Earth in 2029 or 2036.

Origins of the word Apophis?

Apophis was a snake and Ra’s adversary in Egyptian mythology. Every night, Apophis aimed to engulf the planet in perpetual darkness, only to be vanquished by Ra at dawn.

When and Who Discovered Asteroid Apophis?

At the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Arizona, Roy Tucker, David Tholen, and Fabrizio Bernardi made the discovery of Apophis on June 19, 2004. Our Shoemaker Near Earth Object Grant Program, which provides funding to advanced amateur astronomers who locate, monitor, and describe near-Earth objects, recognized Tucker as a 2002 grant recipient.

What is the Size of Asteroid Apophis?

Apophis is too tiny for us to determine its precise form and size from Earth, like the majority of asteroids. It is taller than the Empire State Building in New York City and stretches 450 meters (1500 ft) across its longest axis, or roughly five football fields, according to radar pictures. On its shortest axis, it measures around 170 meters.

It resembles the tiny world Arrokoth, which NASA’s New Horizons mission passed in 2019, and is probably egg-shaped or maybe dual-lobed.

How close will Asteroid Apophis approach to Earth in 2036?

Apophis will approach Earth on March 30, 2036, at a far greater distance of 8.4 million kilometers (5.2 million miles). That is more than twenty times the Earth-Moon distance.

Can we Change the Trajectories of Asteroids?

We could alter an asteroid the size of Apophis such that it misses Earth if we had adequate notice time before impact, which would be several years. However, this would need a concerted international effort.

What was the Size of the Asteroid that killed the Dinosaurs?

The asteroid Chicxulub Impactor (named after the Chicxulub crater it created) caused the extinction of 70% of all life on Earth including the dinosaurs approximately 66 million years ago was at least 10 to 15 kilometers in size. It was far larger than Apophis, yet if it collided with a major city, an asteroid the size of Apophis could still kill millions of people.


It is an event to be viewed with scientific curiosity, not fear. It’s a chance to learn more about the fascinating world of asteroids and appreciate the immense scale of our solar system.

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