Will Earth be hit by an asteroid in 2029? Understand the catastrophic possibility

Seeing an asteroid colliding with Earth is something that happens in many science fiction films, but what are the chances of it actually happening? Check out!

Have you ever stopped to think about the stars and how they can affect the Earth, as in the case of an asteroid collision?

Today, we’re going to dive into a fascinating and somewhat intriguing subject: the asteroid Apophis and its approach to Earth in 2029. Shall we go?

Have you ever thought about what it would be like if an asteroid collided with Earth? Check out this animation! / Photo: publicity.

What is the difference between asteroid, meteor and meteorite?

Firstly, it is good to understand what an asteroid is so we can talk more about the possible collision.

In short, asteroid, meteor and meteorite are astronomical terms that are often confused, but each has its specific meaning.

Asteroids are rocky or metallic bodies that orbit the Sun, usually in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Meteors, in turn, are the visual phenomenon that occurs when a fragment of an asteroid or comet enters the Earth’s atmosphere, creating a luminous trail in the sky, popularly known as a "shooting star".

Now, meteorites are fragments of asteroids or comets that survive the passage through the Earth’s atmosphere and reach the planet’s surface, and can be found as rocks or metals.

Meet a cosmic giant: the Asteroid Apophis

Initially, asteroid 99942 Apophis is one of the most talked about when talking about objects close to Earth. It will pass very close to us in April 2029.

And when we say close, we’re talking about 32 thousand kilometers, closer than some geostationary satellites. Incredible, isn’t it?

Is there a risk of collision or not?

Many people are worried about the possibility of a star colliding with Earth. In the case of Apophis, NASA guarantees that there is no risk of impact, neither now nor in its next approach in 2036.

To give you an idea, they even recalibrated their calculations after observations in 2021 to make sure of this and, if there was an error, action would need to be taken.

Basically, if asteroid 99942 Apophis really collided with the planet, there would be worrying damage, as shown in the animation on the JPLraw YouTube channel:

Scary, isn’t it?

Understand the science behind the asteroid

NASA has a huge scientific interest in Apophis. So much so that they recommended sending a spacecraft to study it before 2029.

Thus, the OSIRIS-REx probe, renamed OSIRIS-APEX, will orbit the celestial body for 18 months, collecting precious information about its internal structure and the influence of planetary tides on the evolution of asteroids.

And if there is a possible collision, are we prepared?

Fortunately, yes! In summary, there are containment plans for asteroids potentially dangerous to Earth.

NASA and other space agencies continually monitor near-Earth objects (NEOs). They use advanced technologies to detect, track and predict the trajectories of these objects.

In other words, in the event of a threat, one of the strategies is to divert the asteroid, changing its orbit. This can be done through the impact of a spacecraft, known as the "kinetic impact technique", or using the gravity of a spacecraft to subtly pull the star onto a new trajectory.

These methods are still under development and testing, representing an active field of research.

No need to be afraid of the asteroid!

Understanding asteroids like Apophis is not just about preventing risks. It’s another incredible opportunity to learn more about our universe.

And you, what do you think of this space mission? Share with us in the comments!

Find out more: List of CPFs that will receive the EXTRAORDINARY payment of R$ 15 thousand was leaked; Cashier has already confirmed payment!

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