The orbit of asteroid Apophis has been disrupted. The disruption is believed to be caused due to the rising heat. Astronomers have termed the phenomenon as the Yarkovsky effect. It can change the path of an asteroid through space. The asteroid absorbs heat from the Sun and this results in the change of its trajectory. According to the latest calculations, the said asteroid’s orbit change is approximately 557 feet. The orbit shifts every year. Apophis was discovered in 2004. Astronomers said that the celestial object is since then moving away from its original orbit. They said that Apophis’ warmer hemisphere pushes harder than the colder hemisphere. This causes the asteroid to change its orbit.
It was previously predicted to pass very close to Earth in 2068. Astronomers said that Apophis’ chance of an impact on Earth is very dim. They discovered a shift in the asteroid’s orbit calculating the 2068 threat. They measured the solar push. They explained that asteroid radiates heat. This heat causes a drift in the orbit. Astronomers at the University of Hawaii studied the asteroid’s orbital data. The data was collected since 2004. This helped them to arrive at the conclusion. They said that it is necessary to track Apophis carefully.
The asteroid is will make a close approach to Earth in 2029. This will open a window for scientists to get a more detailed look at its shape, size, and surface. Astronomers said that it will pose no threat to humans. The distance will be approximately 31,000 kilometers from Earth. The asteroid is predicted to be equivalent to the size of three football grounds. It will be visible from the naked eye in 2029. Astronomers said that the space rock will become as bright as Cor Caroli. It is a binary star and located at a distance of 114.2 light-years from Earth. A close scrutiny of Apophis when it makes a close-up approach in 2029 will allow astronomers to predict the future impact on Earth.