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NASA has already begun preparations for the arrival of asteroid 99942 Apophis – dubbed the ‘God of Chaos’ asteroid – which will skim past the earth in 10 years. The asteroid measures 340 meters across and will pass within just 19,000 miles of Earth’s surface. Apophis is one of the largest asteroids to pass so close to the Earth’s surface and a collision with the planet has the potential to be devastating for all life on Earth.

The  asteroid is set to get closer to the earth than communication and weather satellites in orbit. Most satellites in Earth’s orbit are geostationary orbit 36,000 miles away from the planet.

Apophis is travelling at almost 25,000 mph meaning a slight detour from its trajectory could be catatstrophic. 

Apophis’ size and proximity to Earth have resulted in it being categorised as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) and NASA is keen to learn as much from the asteroid as possible to help prevent further asteroid issues in the future.

NASA scientist are aware that as the asteroid flies by the planet in 2029, its orbit trajectory may also change thus raising fears that in the future the massive rock could collide with the planet.

The rock is expected to shine exceptionally bright in the sky and pick up speed as it flies across the sky in 2029.

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It will be travelling so fast it is will cross the width of the Moon in a minute and be as brightly lit as stars in the night sky.

According to some researchers, the immense size of the rock is not a cause for concern as there is a 1 to 100,000 chance of the asteroid striking the earth.

NASA have begun preparing to study the rock as it flies past earth and insisted it would be a great opportunity for the world to learn more about similar asteroids.

Radar NASA scientist Marina Brozovic said: “The Apophis close approach in 2029 will be an incredible opportunity for science.”

Astronomer Davide Farnocchia added: “We already know that the close encounter with Earth will change Apophis’ orbit.

Its closest approach will be over the Atlantic Ocean, as the evening arrives in the US.

Due to the immense speed, the asteroid is travelling at it will cross the ocean in an hour and continue to fly off into space.

Paul Chodas, director of CNEOS added: “Apophis is a representative of about 2,000 currently known Potentially Hazardous Asteroids.

“By observing Apophis during its 2029 flyby, we will gain important scientific knowledge that could one day be used for planetary defence.”

Scientists named the rock Adopts after the Egyptian God of Chaos, also known as Apep. 

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