Space

"Doomsday" Asteroid Apophis 20 Percent Bigger Than First Thought

Can be seen on a webcast tonight

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A European space telescope has captured new images of the huge asteroid Apophis, revealing that the potentially hazardous object is actually bigger than previously thought — and you have a chance to see the space rock yourself in two free webcasts tonight (Jan. 9).

Asteroid Apophis has long been billed as a "doomsday asteroid" because of a 2004 study that predicted a 2.7 percent chance of the space rock hitting Earth when it passes within 22,364 miles (36,000 kilometers) of the planet in April 2029, European Space Agency officials said. Later studies proved, however, that the asteroid poses no threat to Earth during that flyby, but astronomers continue to track the object since it will make another pass near Earth in 2036.