Giant Nereus asteroid to skim Earth’s orbit! Are we in danger? Look what experts say | Tech News

Giant Nereus asteroid to skim Earth’s orbit! Are we in danger? Look what experts say

An Eiffel Tower sized asteroid Nereus will make its closest approach towards the Earth's orbit tomorrow. Does it hold any harm? Read here

| Updated on: Aug 21 2022, 22:32 IST
Asteroid Nereus, the giant space rock holds precious metals worth $5 billion, few reports mentioned. (Pixabay)

News across the globe doesn't seem to be coming in a positive way. Ofcourse, the Covid-19's new Omicron variant surged the fear amongst all of us. But there is another news coming your way which might not please you. We all have heard about one or another asteroid coming near to our Earth, but this giant Eiffel tower sized asteroid created a buzz on social media.

NASA has classified the asteroid 4660 Nereus, which was found in 1982, as a "potentially hazardous asteroid" due to its size and proximity to Earth. It is a 330-meter-diameter asteroid that is expected to fly past Earth on December 11 at a distance of 3.93 million kilometres. It is said that if an asteroid is said to be larger than 140 metres in diameter and passes within the range of 7.48 million kilometres of Earth, then it is categorised as a ‘hazardous asteroid'. The asteroid Nereus will make the closest approach to Earth since its discovery and according to some reports, the space rock holds precious metals worth $5 billion.

However, astronomer Dr Franck Marchis, who is a senior astronomer at the SETI Institute and chief scientific officer at Unistellar, told The Sun that the giant rock Nereus is "not a threat", but… Never take it easy! He further added that the orbit of the asteroid Nereus can be deflected due a number of possibilities such as an encounter of Nereus with some other asteroid or a planet. Even a minor deviation can be an issue, which can deflect its orbit. "It's like if you have an evil neighbour — it's in your interests to know where they are and what they're doing," Dr Marchis told The Sun.

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Talking about the impact if it may hit the Earth, Dr Marchis said while taking an example that it has the potential to wipe out most of the Midlands in Coventry and cause damage as far as Leeds in the North and Southampton in the South. But don't worry, all these are the possibilities, which can happen with any asteroid if there is any deflection in the orbit of the asteroid. Here, the astronomer further assured that the chances of possibility of deflection is low. “We are monitoring this so people can sleep easy.”

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First Published Date: 10 Dec, 11:30 IST