An asteroid, which is reportedly slightly larger than the Great Pyramid of Giza, is set to hurtle past Earth in August at a speed of 18 kilometres per second. The giant asteroid, known as 2019 OU1, measures to 160 meters (524 feet) in diameter, the equivalent to the Washington Monument, or 20 meters bigger than Egypt’s most famous pyramid, according to Russia Today. Importantly, asteroids can bring tsunamis, shock waves and flattening winds that could be catastrophic. Asteroids are small, rocky objects that orbit the Sun. The space rocks (asteroid) approach towards the Earth due to the gravitational forces that affect them. According to a report published by spacetelescope.org, there are more than 7 lakh asteroids that have been found in space. Asteroids are mainly found in an area called the ‘main belt’, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
Coming back to the asteroid 2019 OU1, according to NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the space rock will come 40 times closer to Earth than Venus when it passes at a distance of about one million kilometres.
Social media has been flooded with reports of possible asteroid hits over the last few months. While the planet Earth has been proved lucky enough to survive all those previous calamities, another prediction made by a British scientist may send a chill down your spine.
According to Dr Iain McDonald, a top scientist at the Cardiff University, Wales, our planet will 'Inevitably' get hit by a doomsday asteroid one day or the other. However, McDonald has not specified an exact date or time for the end of human civilization.
Speaking at the BBC's Today programme, the scientists cited several incidents of dreaded asteroid hits in the past, adding that the possibility of similar catastrophic events could not be ruled out in near or distant future.
"I try not to because it would be calamitous. As geologists, we recognise these events throughout history and we try and think of effects they must have had on life at that time. We know that these things will always happen. There are always rocks flying through space. Inevitably one of these will hit us and it will have pretty dramatic effects," McDonald was quoted as saying.