Via USA Today:
This year asteroid Apophis, named after an Egyptian mythological demon, will not get closer than around nine million miles.
Because a tiny chance still exists of the asteroid hitting Earth in 2036, “scientific interest in Apophis is acute, and it’s very important to learn as much as we can about this object when it gets close enough for physical observations”, says a recent statement from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif.
Radar observations of the asteroid, scheduled for February, should refine orbital track analyses of the asteroid’s impact chances.
The Russian Space Agency is preparing for a mission to intercept asteroid Apophis that could hit planet Earth in 2036.
If it ever hit Earth, the asteroid would deliver an impact blast on land of 141 megatons, almost three times stronger than the biggest H-bomb ever tested, according to Purdue University’s impact calculator.