The asteroid's official name is 99942 Apophis. It is a 1,110-foot-wide asteroid named after the Egyptian god of chaos. It will fly as close to the Earth as some of the orbiting spacecraft panicking scientists.
99942 Apophis will come within 19,000 miles of Earth on April 13, a decade from now, but scientists at the Planetary Defense Conference are already preparing for the encounter, Newsweek reported. They plan to discuss the asteroid's effects on Earth's gravity, potential research opportunities and even how to deflect an incoming asteroid in a theoretical scenario.
The asteroid will be visible to the naked eye and will look like a moving star point of light, according to NASA. It will pass over the United States in the early evening, according to WUSA 9. 99942 Apophis was discovered in 2004 and, after tracking it for 15 years, scientists say the asteroid has a 1 in 100,000 chance of striking Earth decades in the future. But in the fairly distant future: after 2060, Newsweek reported.