Infamous Asteroid Apophis  Test Subject

'Rediscovered' as Scientist's

The asteroid, which was

 once thought to be a risk to Earth in 2029, was the perfect test subject during its recent close approach.

 A test of asteroid 

defense systems successfully "rediscovered" the infamous asteroid 99942 Apophis

For this asteroid defense

 exercise, all previous data on Apophis were made inaccessibleinfamous asteroid 99942 Apophis

This meant that astronomers

 had to start afresh during the asteroid's close approach, which began in December 2020 and culminated in March 2021. 

Many asteroid-hunting surveys

, which routinely scan the sky for potentially hazardous asteroids, were involved in the project

During the test, Apophis

 was spotted first by the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona, with subsequent detections from the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) 

To Space and Back: Blue  to Go Again & Again

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