Massive 1200-feet wide asteroid is coming for the Earth, warns NASA
NASA: DART Mission set to DEFLECT giant asteroid
Last week, Earth had two close encounters with large asteroids. The first asteroid was 400-feet wide whereas the second was 600-feet wide. However, now an asteroid is zooming towards our planet which makes these look like tiny pebbles. Making its closest approach tomorrow, August 3, this asteroid is a 1,200-feet wide gigantic space rock which is moving towards the Earth at an extremely high speed. For reference, this asteroid is as wide as three Statue of Liberty monuments put together. It can be an extremely scary scenario if it strikes the Earth. At its size, it will cause continental level of impact damage and the shockwaves and tectonic waves will impact the entire planet with earthquakes and tsunamis. So, read on to know if this asteroid will strike our planet or if the Earth will get lucky a third time in a row.
According to the NASA Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) database, the 1,200-feet or 365-meters wide asteroid has been named 2022 OE02. The 2022 in its name is an indication of the fact that this asteroid was observed this year for the first time. In fact, the asteroid was observed only a few weeks ago. This creates a lot of unpredictability as there is not enough data on the space rock.
Gigantic asteroid to approach the Earth tomorrow
CNEOS has also revealed that the asteroid is moving at a speed of 1,15,872 kilometers per hour. At this moment, the asteroid is expected to come as close as 6.1 million kilometers close to the Earth. This may seem like a large distance but in astronomical terms, it won't take the asteroid long to cover the distance, if a deviation in its trajectory took place. However, as per current predictions, the asteroid is not likely to strike the Earth and a safe passage is expected.
To protect the Earth from any such future threats, NASA is conducting a DART mission, which will give it the capabilities of sending rockets to push an incoming asteroid slightly and change its trajectory to protect the planet.