Water found in asteroid dust collected by Japan's Hayabusa probe

Fictional asteroid 2019PDC's

Fictional asteroid 2019PDC's"Potential Damage Swath pretty much explains it. Image ESA

If Apophis had been to at some point seem like on a collision course with Earth, scientists can be extraordinarily accustomed to it by that time and the work being accomplished between now and 2029 may come in useful.

"We'll observe the asteroid with both optical and radar telescopes", Brozović said. "The most popular scenario is that water on Earth was delivered by water-rich asteroids from the outer solar system (C-type asteroids) during different periods of planetary formation, i.e., early, when Earth was not as big as it is now (proto-Earth) or late, after the Earth had completely formed".

According to NASA, such a large object passing close to Earth is a relatively rare phenomenon. The asteroid from Itokawa has a diameter of 1,800 feet long and a width of about 700 to 1,000 feet, and it makes a cycle around the Sun at 18 months distance at a medium distance of 1.3 times the 93 million miles span between Earth and Sun. And the global asteroid research community is excited. The samples were collected from an area on Itokawa known as the Muses Sea, which is smooth and dusty. Apophis was discovered in 2004 by a team from the National Observatory of Kitt Peak (Arizona, USA). Initial calculations had predicted a 2.97percent chance of impact, the space agency said, clarifying that later observations had ruled out the possibility. Apophis is expected to be just 33,000 km from earth.

The drill took place this week at the annual Planetary Defense Conference, where scientists from across the globe gather to discuss "threatening objects" to Earth. The team's idea of looking for water in the Itokawa samples came as a surprise for the Hayabusa project.

In December, NASA's OSIRIS-REx mission finally made it to the asteroid Bennu.

"Apophis is a representative of about 2,000 now known potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs)", Paul Chodas, director of the Center for Near Earth Objects Studies, said in the release. Named 99942 Apophis, the large rock will first become visible to the naked eye in the night sky over the Southern Hemisphere, as it travels from the east coast to the west coast of Australia.

At closest approach, just before 6 p.m. It will then pass across the Indian Ocean moving west, flying over Africa and the Atlantic Ocean to reach sky above the U.S. in less than an hour.

Apophis is one of the approximately 2,000 potentially unsafe asteroids known today. "By observing Apophis during its 2029 flyby, we will gain important scientific knowledge that could one day be used for planetary defense".