BEWARE! A Gigantic, stadium-sized asteroid hurtling towards Earth today, says NASA | Tech News

BEWARE! A Gigantic, stadium-sized asteroid hurtling towards Earth today, says NASA

NASA reports that a gigantic 259 meters wide asteroid will be approaching Earth today, March 24.

| Updated on: Aug 22 2022, 10:52 IST
NASA: An asteroid, as large as a stadium, will be flying past the Earth today. (Pixabay)

A potentially hazardous asteroid is headed towards Earth today March 24, according to NASA. After a couple of smaller asteroids flew past the Earth earlier this week, this will be the largest asteroid to come across to our immediate neighborhood this month. This asteroid, dubbed 2013 BO76, is 259 meters or 850 feet wide. That is as large as a stadium! While the asteroid has filled the hearts of astronomers with excitement giving them a chance to observe it, it should be noted that if this asteroid deviates even slightly from its path, it can spell disaster for everyone on Earth.

According to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 2013 BO76 will make the closest approach to Earth from a distance of 5,110,000 kilometers. This is much, much closer than its last approach a long time ago. Also, this is a distance that should allow the asteroid to make a safe passage. However, in terms of galactic distances, this is a small number, and if by any misfortune, the asteroid deviates even slightly from its orbit, it can pose a grave threat for humanity. Further, the asteroid is traveling at a speed of 49,513 km/h, which is about 40 times faster than the speed of sound. At such a speed, the asteroid will cause massive destruction, if it hits the Earth.

Asteroid, larger than a stadium to approach Earth

259 meters wide Asteroid 2013 BO76 orbits the Sun in an asymmetric elongated orbit. On one side, it traces up to the Earth's orbit at two intersecting points (it will meet Earth at one of them) and on the far side, it goes as far as the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The asteroid completes its full revolution in approximately 9 years. If you want more information about this asteroid, you can go to NASA's Small Body Database by clicking this link.

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The asteroid previously came closest to our Earth in 2013 when it flew past us from a distance of 78,88,295 kilometers. Nine years later, it is going to make the closest approach ever to Earth, cutting the distance short by 15 times! And that is why some scientists are constantly monitoring it. In fact, the Planetary Defense Coordination Office, a department under NASA, vigilantly monitors not only this asteroid, but thousands of other near Earth objects which have a potential risk of becoming hazardous to our home planet.

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First Published Date: 24 Mar, 10:38 IST