Asteroid, bigger than Empire State Building, heading towards Earth; everything you need to know- Technology News, Firstpost
FP trendMay 13, 2022 15:15:20 IST
Scientists have warned that a 1,600-foot asteroid will pass Earth in the early hours of May 16. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), asteroid 388945 (2008 TZ3) will be closest to Earth at 2:48 a.m. the same day.
The asteroid is taller than most buildings on Earth, including the iconic Empire State Building in New York, the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
The massive asteroid will pass at a distance of about 2.5 million miles, which is why the space agency has marked it as a “close approach.” A space rock of this size can cause massive damage if it ever hits the planet.
The asteroid routinely passes by Earth as it orbits the sun, with the last one in 2020. The asteroid will then get close to the planet in 2024, but not nearly as close as time. Asteroid 388945 (2008 TZ3) will then come this close to Earth in May 2163.
Asteroids are rocky, airless remnants left over from the early formation of our solar system, about 4.6 billion years ago. according to NASA. There are currently 1,113,527 known asteroids, most of which can be found in orbit around the sun between Jupiter and Mars. According to the space agency, the total mass of all asteroids combined is less than that of Earth’s moon.
If one of the space rocks comes within 4.65 million miles of Earth’s orbit and is more than about 150 feet wide, it will be marked as “potentially dangerous” by space agencies. Many of them, including NASA, have contingency plans in place to protect the planet from a potential collision.
According to Space.com, smaller asteroids believed to strike the planet every 1,000 to 10,000 years could lead to devastating tsunamis or destroy a city. Asteroids smaller than 25 m are most likely to burn up as they enter the planet’s atmosphere.