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How Close Is Asteroid Apophis

03 Jul 2013 by Josh VonFeldt in All, Apophis

The asteroid Apophis had it’s last close encounter with earth in January, 2013. Although Apophis will continue to pass through our orbit, it will be a safe distance from earth until 2029 when it will have an extremely close brush with Earth.

The orbit of asteroid Apophis around the sun is 323.6 days, very similar to the Earths orbit of 365.25 days. All things being equal, Apophis would pass Earth every 7 years and 9 months, but since its orbit isn’t exactly circular, this can vary by a few months. Each pass will have 2 separate close approaches. Although Apophis travels into our orbit at roughly the same spot every pass, Earth is always at a different position in that orbit because of our longer duration around the Sun.

You can see it clearly in this animation showing you where Apophis is right now and how far it is from Earth.

Thank you to David Carson for the up-to-date animation.

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THIS ARTICLE IS WRITTEN BY

Josh VonFeldt

Space enthusiast with a specific interest in near Earth objects and deep space exploration.

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