Over time, NASA and various experts have issued all kinds of warnings about asteroids and other objects that, to a greater or lesser extent, have been relatively close to the planet Earth. However, none of them has passed as close as Apophis, an asteroid that the space agency compares to the measurements of the Empire State Building.

The threat will not be for another five years, that is, around 2028. However, experts have warned due to its large size and its proximity to the planet. According to Reuters, NASA trusts that at the moment it approaches, a spacecraft will make a close examination of the asteroid and explain how it passed so close to Earth and what its characteristics are.

What Apophis is and what it will do when it passes by Earth

Space authorities say that Apophis is composed mainly of silicate, iron and nickel materials. It was discovered in 2004 and already then a serious warning was issued, predicting a possible impact against Earth in 2029. With the passage of time, that ‘threat’ has passed, but the alert remains because it will pass ‘close’ and its large size makes it, at least, concerning.

It is believed that it will arrive “at less than a tenth of the distance of the Moon and within the orbits of some geosynchronous Earth satellites”.

The OSIRIS-APEX spacecraft will go to meet it, whose objective during 18 months will be to study its characteristics, analyze the object and corroborate that its trajectory does not coincide directly with the Earth, thus avoiding a threat of impact.

Its analysis will also be important to study the asteroid and learn how these objects change and how they act when they cross the vicinity of the planet and to assess the damage that could be caused in the event of a hypothetical future collision.


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