Infamous asteroid Apophis ‘rediscovered’ as scientists test asteroid defense mechanisms

Artist’s impression of a potentially dangerous asteroid passing close to Earth. (Image credit: Juan Gartner via Getty Images)

A test to determine if asteroid defense systems could spot a potentially dangerous near-Earth asteroid on its closest approach has succeeded in ‘rediscovering’ the infamous asteroid 99942 Apophis, which will make a close encounter with our planet in 2029 .

For that asteroid defense exercise, all previous data on Apophis was made inaccessible. This meant that astronomers had to start from scratch during the close approach to the asteroidwhich began in December 2020 and peaked in March 2021. Apophis slip through the net, or could our sky survey network find it?

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