900-Foot-Wide Asteroid Approaches Earth Today

Asteroid Apophis is headed in the direction of the Earth, but there's no chance of a cataclysmic collision.

Apophis, that pesky 900-foot wide asteroid named after an Egyptian mythological demon, appropriately, is headed for another brush with Earth on Wednesday. But don't start drawing up that bucket-list just yet, because scientists have all but ruled out the possibility of a collision with Earth, despite a tiny chance Apophis could crash into Earth in 2036 and will come
uncomfortably close and inside the orbit of communication satellites in 2029.

You can watch Apophis come about 9 million miles from Earth via Slooh, which collects images from observatories around the world. "Alone among all these near-Earth asteroids that have passed our way in recent years, Apophis has generated the most concern worldwide because of its extremely close approach in 2029 and potential impact, albeit small, in 2036. We are excited to cover this asteroid live for the general public," said Slooh president Patrick Paolucci.

So what might happen if an asteroid does hit the Earth someday? This, possibly. And check out this infographic, which charts Near-Earth Objects by how close could get to our planet (and when)—or this infographic, which outlines all the other ways the world might end.

[Image: Flickr user David Kingham]

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