Apophis is 1,120 feet (340-meter-wide) wide and made of rock, iron and nickel. It is probably shaped roughly like a peanut, though astronomers will have a better idea of its form when it passes by Earth this week, according to NASA.
The asteroid takes a full orbit around the sun about every 11 months. On March 5, it will come within 10,471,577 miles (16,852,369 km) of Earth at 8:15 p.m. EST (0115 GMT on March 6). That’s too far to be seen with the naked eye, but scientists will use planetary radar to image Apophis as it flies by using NASA’s Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California and the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia. They hope to determine the asteroid’s shape and learn more about the way it rotates.
“We know Apophis is in a very complicated spin state, it’s sort of spinning and tumbling at the same time,” Richard Binzel, a planetary scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told Space.com.
Bessell (B): +*.*, Bessell (V): +*.*
Bessell (R): +15.2, Bessell (I): +*.*
TELESCOPE: C11, 1623.0mm
ORIGIN: Cepheid Observatory, India, Vorion Scientific, India
V.K.Agnihotri, B. Kumar, S. Mahawar, K.Vora