NASA: Asteroid, larger than the Eiffel Tower, set to get dangerously close to Earth


A large 1,600-feet wide asteroid is speeding towards the Earth, says NASA. Know the chances of it striking our planet.

A gigantic asteroid is rushing towards the Earth, according to the American space agency NASA. The asteroid is 1,600-feet wide and will make its closest approach to the Earth on Monday, May 9th. Unlike many asteroids that have zoomed past our planet in recent times, this one is actually very large. For reference, this asteroid is about 100 feet larger than the Eiffel Tower. Such asteroids are rare and every time an asteroid this size gets close to the Earth, it is a matter of concern as even the slightest deviation can spell disaster for us. If an asteroid this size were to hit the planet, it would create a massive area of destruction, create long-ranging seismic waves and cause tsunami in nearby regions. Know what are the chances of an asteroid strike.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory by NASA has explained that the asteroid is named 467460 (2006 JF42) and it is 1600-feet or 488 meters wide. The asteroid is expected to make its closest approach to the Earth at a distance of 5,710,000 kilometers. The asteroid is moving at a speed of 37,196 km/h. While this may sound like a large distance, at the high speed it is traveling, it gets reduced to a small distance. Scientists are continuously watching the asteroid to ensure that it maintains its distance. At the moment, it is expected that the asteroid will make a safe passage and is not likely to impact against Earth.

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NASA: An Eiffel Tower sized asteroid is hurtling towards the Earth

Due to the asteroid 2006 JF42’s size and relatively close proximity to the Earth, it is being classified as potentially hazardous. The asteroid belongs to the Aten class of asteroids. The Aten asteroids are a dynamical group of asteroids whose orbits bring them into proximity with Earth. By definition, Atens are Earth-crossing asteroids. This particular asteroid travels between Mercury and the Earth and it takes one year to complete one revolution around the Sun. Although it frequently crosses Earth’s path, it has not ventured this close to us since decades. The next time it comes this close will not be before 2033.

Due to these circumstances, NASA has been constantly watching the space rock, which has been classified as a near-Earth asteroid (NEO). The Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) has been an integral part of the American agency observing and mapping out all the asteroids that can pose a threat to us.

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