A warning that an aircraft-sized asteroid is heading directly towards Earth tomorrow has been issued. Will it impact the planet? Here’s what the space agency has to say.
NASA has warned that a massive asteroid is headed towards Earth. The asteroid is large enough to end all life and cause total annihilation on the planet if it makes a surface impact on Earth. However, chances of an ateroid strike are remote at the moment as it i likely to pass by Earth. Having aid that, it has still managed to cause panic among the space agencies due to the extremely close distance with which it will pass by Earth.
The Asteroid 2020 PT4 will just miss Earth on September 14, which is tomorrow at a distance of 7.1 million kilometers. It is travelling at a staggering speed of 39,024 kilometers per hour. The asteroid is nearly the size of a commercial aircraft with a width of nearly 120 feet. This asteroid does not pose any viable threat to Earth and will pass the planet safely though it was still classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid due to the close proximity of its encounter with Earth.
Asteroid 2020 PT4 is part of the Apollo group of asteroids. According to the-sky.org, this asteroid takes almost 734 days to complete one orbit of the Sun, during which its farthest distance from the Sun is 355 million kilometers and nearest distance is 122 million kilometers.
NASA currently has a NEO Observations Program in place to track, and characterize at least 90 percent of the NEOs that are 140 meters or larger in size. Most of the asteroids are observed with the help of the NEOWISE Project which repurposed NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer to work as a survey telescope and scan the sky for Near-Earth Objects.
Did you know?
Until now, it was believed that water was already present on Earth when the first living beings came into existence. However, a recent study has made an astonishing discovery that puts this very thought into doubt. The study has revealed that water may have originated on an asteroid.
The study was conducted after collecting samples from an asteroid called Ryugu by the Japanese Hayabusa-2 space probe during a 6-year space mission.
The probe gathered 5.4 grams of dust and rock samples from the asteroid which scientists used to gather information on the origin of life.
“Volatile and organic-rich C-type asteroids may have been one of the main sources of Earth’s water,” the scientists said in the published paper.