NASA: Asteroid, as large as the Golden Gate Bridge, is heading toward the Earth; know the risk

NASA: Asteroid, as large as the Golden Gate Bridge, is heading toward the Earth; know the risk

NASA: A gigantic 450-meters wide asteroid is going to fly past the Earth on April 28. The asteroid will come terrifyingly close to our planet. Should we be afraid of a potential asteroid strike?

NASA: After a brief period of calm, a massive asteroid is yet again headed towards the Earth, according to the American space agency. The incoming asteroid is a massive 450-meters wide space rock, which can be compared to the famous Golden Gate Bridge located in San Francisco. An asteroid this size is classified as an apollo-class asteroid. But due to its close proximity to the Earth, this near-Earth object or (NEO) has also been labeled as a potentially hazardous asteroid. If this asteroid struck the Earth, it could cause widespread destruction and generate strong earthquakes and tsunamis. So, is there a chance for a potential hit? Read on to find out.

According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory by NASA, the asteroid hurtling towards the Earth is named 418135 (2008 AG33). The 457 meters or 1,500-feet wide asteroid is expected to make its closest approach to the Earth at a distance of 3,240,000 kilometers. Do not make the mistake of considering the distance too large to worry about. It should be remembered that in terms of astronomical distances, it is a small number and considering the high speed of these asteroids, these distances can be covered in a short span of time. In terms of astronomical units, this asteroid’s closest approach to Earth will be at a distance of just 0.015 au.

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NASA: Massive asteroid headed towards the Earth

The asteroid 2008 AG33 has a massive orbit where one revolution takes it about 18 years to complete. At its closest point to the Sun or perihelion, it comes as close as the Earth and on the other hand, at its aphelion or the furthest point from the Sun, it goes as far as the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Coming from the asteroid belt, this asteroid also possesses a high speed of more than 25,000 km/h. At this speed, if it were to strike the Earth, it could easily flatten tens of kilometers of land. And this is why NASA has been vigilantly watching it.

The Planetary Defense Coordination Office or the PDCO is a department by NASA that not only observes all NEOs, but also comes up with strategies to deviate or destroy asteroids which have a high probability of impact. So far, this particular asteroid seems unlikely to strike and is expected to make a safe passage across the planet. However, the space agency is continuing to observe it in case a sudden deviation happens.

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