An asteroid larger than the Empire State Building is rushing toward Earth; NASA: ‘It’s a close encounter
The head of SpaceX, Elon Musk, raised concerns when he wrote on Twitter that ‘a large asteroid will surely hit Earth one day and we have no defense at the moment’, although NASA is considering some methods of defense
Asteroid 388945 (2008 TZ3) should fly at a distance of about 5.6 million kilometers from Earth.
NASA is closely watching a huge asteroid rushing towards Earth, writes the New York Post.
The US space agency expects Asteroid 388945 (2008 TZ3) to pass close to our planet on May 15. The large space rock, it is estimated, is just under 500 meters wide. By comparison, the legendary Empire Space Building is 443 meters high. If an asteroid of this size hit the Earth, it would cause serious damage.
However, there is no reason to panic because Asteroid 388945 (2008 TZ3) should fly at a distance of about 5.6 million kilometers from Earth.
This may seem quite far away, but considering the overall size of the universe, it’s not that great a distance at all. This is also the reason why NASA described this event as a ‘close encounter’.
When an asteroid of this size approaches Earth at less than 7.4 million kilometers, cautious space agencies consider it ‘potentially dangerous’. An asteroid that will pass close to Earth fits that description.
It will fly along the Earth at a speed of more than 28,000 km / h. NASA says the asteroid should pass by Earth around 10:18 Central European Time.
A plan to save the Earth from an asteroid
Some experts are concerned that the Earth is not ready to defend itself from potentially deadly asteroids.
The head of SpaceX, Elon Musk, raised concerns when he wrote on Twitter that ‘a large asteroid will surely hit Earth one day and we have no defense at the moment’, although NASA is considering some methods of defense.
Recently, it launched the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission.
‘DART is the first mission ever launched to investigate and demonstrate a method of deterring asteroids by changing the motion of asteroids in space using kinetic impact.’
The DART spacecraft should hit a small asteroid called Dimorphos in September to try to change its trajectory.
The asteroid will again come as close as this time in May 2163.
If an asteroid comes within 4.65 million miles and is over a certain size, it’s considered “potentially hazardous” by cautious space agencies.
Asteroids are space debris, the remains of a planet, that keep rotating in the vast, infinite space. Scientists have warned for decades that some huge space rocks are dangerous for Earth.