- Asteroid 99942 Apophis is a near-earth asteroid that was discovered in December 2004.
- Asteroid Apophis was thought to have a probability of 2.7% chance that it would strike Earth in 2029.
- More observations soon after determined that there was a lower chance of impacting Earth or the moon in 2029.
- Additional evidence emerged that there was still a chance of impacting Earth in the year 2036 because when Apophis could go through what is known as a gravitational keyhole, a region in space no more than 600 meters across that would set the asteroid on a direct path in 2036.
- The possibility of impact kept Apophis at Level 1 on the Torino Impact Hazard Scale. It broke the record on the Torino Scale because it went to Level 4 before it was lowered.
- Asteroid Apophis is approximately 885 ft across.
- Many scientists agree that Asteroid Apophis deserves a close scrutiny to exactly where it is going.
- In February of 2008 the Planetary Society asked companies and students to submit space probe designs that would place a type of tracking device on or at least near Apophis. The award would be $50,000.
- Asteroid Apophis size is based on observed brightness.
- In 2005 it was said that this asteroid would pass right below the geosynchronous satellites which sit at 22,236 miles above earth. An asteroid that comes in that close to Earth happens on once in every 1,300 years.
- The brightness of Apophis will peak at magnitude 3.3.
- When first discovered in 2004 it got the provisional name of MN4. When the orbit of the asteroid was calculated it then received the actual permanent designation of 99942. This permanent number made it eligible for nick naming and received the name Apophis on July 19th, 2005.
- The name Apophis comes from the Greek name of the Ancient Egyptian enemy Ra: Apep, “the Uncreator”, which is a type of serpent that comes from eternal darkness.
- Although the name for the Egyptian god may be appropriate, Tholen and Tucker, the two of the co-discoverd the asteroid are reportedly fans of the TV series Stargate SG-1. One of the show’s persistent villains is an alien also named for the Egyptian god.
Is Asteroid Apophis coming or not! Come back real soon. Information is coming….