A 1,500-feet wide gigantic asteroid will be skimming past the Earth today. NASA has classified it as a potentially hazardous asteroid. Will it hit us?
A massive asteroid is headed for the Earth! According to space agency NASA, a 1,500-feet wide giant space rock will be making its closest approach to the Earth today, April 28. The size of the asteroid is approximately twice the size of the Empire State Building situated in New York City. Due to its size, the asteroid has been labeled as an ‘Apollo-class’ asteroid. The biggest concern right now is whether the asteroid can strike the Earth, even accidentally. In the past, we have seen instances of asteroids which were pulled in due to our Earth’s gravitational force and the space rock ended up crashing into the planet. The most recent example of it is the 2022 EB5, which impacted the Earth’s atmosphere above the western coast of Greenland. While that asteroid was just a couple meters large, if this one were to have a similar fate, it could spell disaster for Earth.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory reveals that the asteroid hurtling towards the Earth is named 418135 (2008 AG33). The 457 meters or 1,500-feet wide asteroid is expected to make its closest approach to the Earth at a distance of 3,240,000 kilometers. The asteroid will cut into the Earth’s orbit at a speed of 37,400 km/h. While this may sound like a big gap, due to its high speed, it gets reduced to a hair’s breadth. Scientists are continuing to watch 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.
NASA: 1,500-feet wide asteroid headed towards the Earth
The asteroid 2008 AG33 was first discovered by surveyors at the Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter observatory in Arizona in January 2008. The last time it came close to the Earth was in 2015, according to the Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) by NASA. The space rock pays a visit to the Earth every 7 years and the next close flyby is predicted on May 25, 2029.
Interestingly, this may not even be the largest asteroid to visit us in recent times. On May 9, an asteroid named 467460 (2006 JF42) will be making its way towards Earth and it is expected to be around 850 meters or roughly 2,800-feet wide. Various space agencies are working to find a way to redirect or destroy asteroids that might be coming dangerously close to the Earth. Yesterday, China’s space agency revealed that for its next mission, it will be closely tracking an asteroid and attacking it to redirect its trajectory. The mission is being conducted to develop capabilities to fend off any stray asteroid that tries to crash into Earth.