NASA has confirmed that there’s a gigantic asteroid space rock taller than the Empire State Building travelling towards Earth at the speed of 54700 km/h. NASA has identified the rock as “potentially hazardous” and will come close to intersecting with our planet’s path on 15 February 2020 13:05 SAT.
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NASA defines “Potentially Hazardous Asteroids” (PHAs) as space rocks that make threatening close approaches to the Earth. The massive chunk of rock is expected to pass over the planet from a distance of around 7 million kilometres. NASA has called this rock the 163373 (2002 PZ39).
The asteroid has a diameter of around 1km. According to NASA, the rock does have enough energy from its explosion to cause a global nuclear winter. A blow to the Earth that big can trigger an impact so large that it could lead to mass extinction.
Will it fly into Earth’s orbit? NASA has revealed there should be no cause for alarm. While the rock will come very, very close to orbit, it is still 6.9 million km away so it will just miss Earth.
NASA has stated that rocks smaller than around 25 meters often burn up as they enter Earth’s atmosphere and cause little to no damage. In the rare case that they do make an impact the damage is quite substantial. In 2013, an asteroid 20 meters big hit Russia and blew windows out of houses and injured more than 1,000 people. This sized rock that is flying passed Earth will do a lot more than just that.
So on 15 February 2020 at 13:05, look up to the sky and know that 6.9 million kilometres away, there is a huge rock that could have totally wiped out our planet. Then go back to doing whatever it was you were doing.
image – iStockphoto