NASA: A mammoth 1.8 km wide ‘potentially hazardous’ asteroid is hurtling towards Earth
NASA: A gigantic asteroid is headed towards the Earth! According to space agency NASA, a 1.8 kilometers wide giant space rock will be making its closest approach to the Earth towards the end of the month. For reference, the size of the asteroid is more than twice the size of Burj Khalifa. Asteroids of this size are rare and due to its size, it has been labeled as an ‘Apollo-class’ asteroid. But with such a big asteroid and a close flyby the obvious concern is whether it can strike the Earth. If this asteroid managed to impact the planet, it would create a massive area of destruction, create long-ranging seismic waves and cause tsunami across the world.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory by NASA has revealed that the asteroid is named 1989 JA and it is 1.8 kilometers wide. The asteroid is expected to make its closest approach to the Earth at a distance of 40,24,182 kilometers. The asteroid is moving at a speed of 47,196 km/h. While this may sound like a big gap, due to its high speed, it gets reduced to a small distance. 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: A 1.8 kilometers wide asteroid is gunning for Earth
Due to the asteroid 1989 JA’s size and relatively close proximity to the Earth, it is being classified as potentially hazardous. The asteroid will come so close to the Earth that astronomy enthusiasts will be able to watch it using a pair of professional binoculars. NASA is keeping a constant watch on the asteroid to note any deviations from its original course, as it can become dangerous for our planet. The last time this asteroid came this close to our planet was in 1996 when it made a safe passage across our planet.
Apart from the fears of an asteroid strike, this will also be an interesting opportunity for the astronomy community to observe the asteroid so close to us. The next time it comes this close to the Earth will be in September 2029.