Asteroid 99942 Apophis is a near-Earth asteroid more than 1000 feet (over 300 meters) in size that will harmlessly pass close to Earth on April 13, 2029. When it was discovered in 2004, the asteroid caused a stir because initial calculations indicated a small possibility it would impact Earth in 2029.
After searching through some older astronomical images, scientists ruled out the possibility of a 2029 impact. It’s now predicted the asteroid will safely pass about 19,800 miles (31,900 kilometers) from our planet’s surface. While that’s a safe distance, it’s close enough that the asteroid will come between Earth and our Moon, which is about 238,855 miles (384,400 kilometers) away. It’s also within the distance that some spacecraft orbit Earth.
It’s rare for an asteroid of this size to pass so close to Earth, although smaller asteroids, in the range of 16 to 33 feet (5 to 10 meters), in size have been observed passing by at similar distances.
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