In 2004, an asteroid three hundred meters long was discovered. It was officially registered with the number 99942 and given the name Apophis. There was a danger that Apophis would hit Earth in 2029. Subsequent observations allowed me to more precisely determine its orbit. It turns out that the risk of collision does not exist.
However, the asteroid will pass the Earth in only 31,000 in 4 years. kilometers, that is, it will be 11 times closer than the moon. This is closer than the geostationary satellites, which orbit the Earth at a distance of 38 thousand. how much. This proximity will make you Apophis will shine 3.1 degrees and be visible to the naked eye In the night sky in Europe and Africa.
The asteroid Apohis will return to Earth’s vicinity many more times. The next close encounter will be in 2036, but the risk of hitting Earth is estimated at 1 in 7 billion.
This is not the end of the attractions in space. Next September, the OSIRIS-REx probe will send samples from the asteroid Bennu to Earth. On September 4, the container with samples from it will be separated, which will be parachuted onto the ground.
NASA has just commissioned a new mission. under the name Osiris Apex It will point towards the asteroid Apophis (APEX is short for Apophis Explorer). It will be a rare opportunity to study an object very close to Earth. Another asteroid will not come so close to our planet until more than a hundred years have passed.
Apophis will not be sampled, but the probe will get close enough to blow dust on it and analyze its composition.
Scientists are excited to study samples taken from asteroids. In meteorites that fell to Earth, traces of compounds that are part of DNA were found. They appear in such forms (isomers) that are not found in living things – indicating that they came from space. Examination of samples taken from asteroids can clearly confirm this.
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