‘God of Chaos’ asteroid hurtling past Earth will be ‘visible to the naked eye’

The Daily Star’s FREE newsletter is spectacular! Sign up today for the best stories straight to your inbox

A colossal asteroid named the 'God of Chaos' will pass by Earth tonight and will be visible to the naked eye.

Apophis, which is 350m wide and "potentially hazardous", is scheduled to fly within 10,471,577 miles of the planet shortly after 1am on Saturday.

That's about 43 times the distance from the Earth to the moon, the Mirror reports.

Thankfully there's no chance of a disastrous impact with our planet, but the asteroid will be visible to telescopes and within radar range of the planet.

Apophis was first discovered in 2004 and has been classified as a "Potentially Hazardous Asteroid" by the IAU's Minor Planet Centre.

NASA's Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California has been observing the asteroid since March 3 and will continue watching it until March 14.

It is set to pass the Earth again in April 2029 when it will be significantly closer to us.

NASA said of that fly-by: "This will be the closest approach by something this large currently known.

"Apophis will be visible to the naked eye for several hours, and Earth tides will probably change its spin state."

The European Virtual Telescope Project will host a live online feed to allow people to watch the fly-by as it happens.

The fly-by this week won't be the last of 2021.

Asteroid 2014 QJ33 is expected to pass Earth safely at a distance of 6.67 lunar units – 1,592,819 miles away from Earth in September.

That rock will be travelling at a speed of 8.66 kilometres a second or 19,371 miles per hour.

NASA is currently tracking around 2,000 asteroids, comets and other objects that could fly close to Earth.

Earth hasn't seen an asteroid of apocalyptic scale since the space rock that wiped out dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

Most asteroids don't come into contact with Earth's atmosphere, but on rare occasions the giant space rocks can impact our weather systems.

  • Asteroids
  • Nasa

Source: Read Full Article