The news of a giant asteroid, presumably many times larger than Mt. Everest, has been making the rounds recently. Many assumptions pointed out towards possibility of the asteroid hitting our planet.
However, NASA has recently confirmed that the asteroid would not touch earth. NASA stated that the asteroid would escape earth very safely. On the other hand, NASA has also classified the asteroid as ‘potentially hazardous’.
Recently, the Centre for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at NASA revealed that four asteroids would fly by Earth. The news of another giant asteroid came just recently with many reports stating that the massive 1998 OR2 asteroid is moving towards earth.
So, will this huge asteroid spell another round of doom for our planet after the deadly coronavirus?
Are WE in Danger?
Obviously, the term ‘potentially hazardous’ coming from NASA, is definitely something to worry about! However, before you panic, you should understand what exactly qualifies as ‘potentially hazardous’ from the lens of space terminology.
NASA classifies asteroids and other space rock orbits intersecting the Earth’s orbit within a distance of 7.5 million kilometers as ‘potentially hazardous’. In most of the cases, thousands of asteroids and space debris in this specific belt pose limited to almost nil threats to Earth.
No Reason to Panic!
The 1998 OR2 asteroid would fly by our planet at a distance of 6.3 million kilometers. As a matter of fact, the distance between the Earth and the moon is approximately 3, 85,000 kilometers. So, it is clearly evident that the 1998 OR2 would pass by the Earth at almost 16.4 times the distance we have from our nearest celestial neighbor.
NASA further confirmed that the 1998 OR2 asteroid would most likely fly by Earth on April 29 at 3:26PM IST. The asteroid would measure around 4.1 kilometers in diameter. Asteroid fly-bys are a commonly regular phenomenon and generally don’t pose threats, in contrast to popular notions.