Asteroid 30x more powerful than nuclear bomb to crash into Earth? What Nasa said

Asteroid Apophis is heading for the Earth, says NASA and described it as one of the "most hazardous asteroids"

| Updated on: Aug 21 2022, 23:17 IST
NASA scientists initially discovered Asteroid Apophis in 2004. (AP)
NASA scientists initially discovered Asteroid Apophis in 2004. (AP)

Over tens of thousands of years, many asteroids have actually crashed into Earth. It is said that our Moon was made from the debris that flew into space after an asteroid crashed into the Earth. Dinosaurs went extinct because of an asteroid crash on Earth. Nowadays, we all keep getting information from NASA about the hazardous asteroids that keep passing near the Earth every month. However, here is one that may spell disaster for Earth! An asteroid 30 times more powerful than even the largest nuclear bomb made on Earth, is going to pass extremely close to the planet. According to Russian scientists, an asteroid named Apophis, named after the Greek god, will fly past the Earth in 2029. Apophis, meaning the 'rock of chaos' will be around 39,000 kilometres away from the Earth which is as near as the distance between the satellites, which broadcast TV channels onto our television, and the ground. In short, it will pass horrifically close to Earth. The bad thing is that if it shifts its flight path even by a very small margin, it could well hit Earth.

Earlier, in some quarters, it was thought that Apophis would actually collide with Earth in the year 2068. However, this was proven to be wrong. NASA scientists initially discovered Apophis in 2004 and described it as one of the "most hazardous asteroids" that could pose a serious threat to Earth.

Does asteroid Apophis pose any threat to Earth?

Luckily, despite its enormous size, Asteroid Apophis seems to pose no harm to Earth. NASA says it is not expected to collide with our planet and will pass safely by. However, it will be a historical event since it will be the first time in recorded history that an asteroid of such magnitude will approach so near to the Earth. The space rock was removed from NASA's risk list in March, and the agency is now referring to it as an opportunity to study a "solar system remnant," as it will pass quite close to Earth in 2029.

What if this giant asteroid hits the Earth?

Just a thought of getting hit by the giant Asteroid Apophis is heart-wrenching! But while estimating the real impact of the asteroid, the Russian government researchers revealed that if the asteroid collides with the Earth, then it would release around 1,717 megatons of energy.

How much is that? It is 30 times more powerful than the Soviet Tsar Bomba, which was tested in 1961 and is still the world's largest bomb.

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First Published Date: 09 Jan, 17:32 IST
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