Scientists were able to take a picture of the asteroid, officially known as Apophis 99942, as it prepares to fly over our planet soon, at its lowest distance from Earth.
Astronomers captured the image of the asteroid this week. The width of the asteroid named after “Apophis”, the god of chaos in the ancient Egyptians, is 370 meters, and simulations of its future orbit reveal that it may one day collide with Earth, although the opportunities are almost non-existent, according to Russia today.
Apophis, who has also been dubbed a “doomsday asteroid”, will fly close to Earth at a distance of 15 million kilometers next month, a distance that will not affect the orbital path of the asteroid but will be close enough to be seen by the average person using telescopes.
This passage will not be close enough to be affected by Earth’s gravity, but it will provide a rare glimpse of the asteroid.
Astronomers captured the latest image in the virtual telescope project. They said, “After eight years of our previous observations, we picked up again Apophis (99942), the king of potentially dangerous asteroids.”
The scientists added that the image was taken by the Elena robotic telescope unit, using a single exposure to the sky for a period of 300 seconds.
The giant space rock will pass near Earth again in 2029, but its flight near our planet in 2068 is what experts care most about.