An artist's illustration of asteroid Apophis near Earth. The asteroid will fly extremely close to Earth in 2029, and then again in 2036, but poses no threat of hitting the planet either time.
Asteroid Apophis was discovered on June 19, 2004.
This promotional image for the Virtual Telescope shows the orbit of asteroid Apophis. Image released Dec. 14, 2012.
At about 36 hours from the minimum distance (9.3 million miles or 15 million kilometers from Earth), potentially hazardous asteroid Apophis was imaged again with the Virtual Telescope, on Jan. 8, 2013.
ESA’s Herschel Space Observatory captured asteroid Apophis in its field of view during the approach to Earth on January, 5-6, 2013. This image shows the asteroid in Herschel’s three PACS wavelengths: 70, 100 and 160 microns.
Temperature coded (in Kelvin) spherical shape model used for the thermal analysis of asteroid Apophis, based on data from the new Herschel observations. Note that this is a model. Image released Jan. 9, 2013.
The Virtual Telescope is continuing to track potentially hazardous asteroid Apophis. It will reach a distance of 9.3 million miles (15 million kilometers) from the Earth in Jan. 2013, with no risks of collision with our planet. The telescope mount tracked the apparent motion of the object, giving trailed stars.
An artist's rendering of the asteroid Apophis.
The asteroid Apophis was discovered on June 19, 2004. It will fly within 18,300 miles of Earth on April 13, 2029, but poses little risk of impact.
An illustration of the Foresight spacecraft proposal to swing by the Apophis asteroid to track its movements.
The potentially dangerous asteroid Apophis (circled) is seen here, in a composite of five exposures taken Jan. 31 by a telescope in Hawaii. The doughnut in the upper left corner is an artifact caused by a dust speck on the camera.
An illustration of how solar sails might help deflect the asteroid Apophis.
An artist's illustration of asteroids, or near-Earth objects, that highlight the need for a complete Space Situational Awareness system.