Planetary defense experts use infamous asteroid Apophis to practice spotting dangerous space rocks

Earth’s most up-to- brush with asteroid hazard was eight years in the past, when an area rock the scale of a six-story constructing got here seemingly out of nowhere, injuring 1,200 folks when it over Chelyabinsk, Russia.

Now, scientists are utilizing this month’s flyby of the notorious asteroid Apophis to check their responses to doubtlessly hazardous area rocks, honing the high-quality artwork of planetary protection. Planetary protection focuses on figuring out asteroids and comets that hang around round Earth, mapping their exact paths and seeing how their orbits examine with Earth’s.

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