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Apophis Asteroid To Scrape Past Earth, Closer Than Any Known Object (VIDEO)

First Posted: 03/18/10 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 04:00 PM ET

Apophis, a 900-foot asteroid, was believed by scientists to have a greater than 2 percent chance of hitting earth.

Wired explains,

The asteroid appeared ready to give the Earth its closest shave since astronomers began looking for such things. It was judged a 4 on the Torino Impact Hazard Scale for a short time, the highest rating any near-Earth object has received.

Scientists have since scaled back their predictions -- they now believe the odds of it crashing into earth are 1 in 250,000 -- but astronomers do expect it to come startlingly close to the earth's surface, whizzing past our planet just 18,300 miles away in April 2029.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory has created a simulation of the asteroid's path past earth. See it in action (from Apophis' perspective) below.


WATCH:




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Filed by Bianca Bosker  |