A supermassive asteroid named 2019 NJ2 will approach towards Earth today. Yes, you read it right. According to the NASA’s CNEOS, asteroid 2019 NJ2, with an estimated diameter of around 207 feet, will reach its closes distance to Earth on July 19 at 7.53 pm (Standard Time) or 1.30 am IST on Saturday morning. Is it a sign of worry for us? Nope, because the asteroid 2019 NJ2 will zoom past the Earth and we are fully safe.
It is to be noted that asteroid 2019 NJ2 is currently traveling at a speed of 30,000 miles per hour. However, the giant space rock will be about 0.03421 astronomical units or roughly 3.1 million miles away from the planet’s centre during its approach.
Asteroid 2019 NJ2 was first observed on June 29 this year. CNEOS data says that the asteroid’s first recorded close approach happened in 1952 when the space rock flew near Venus.
The CNEOS predicted that the asteroid 2019 NJ2 is expected to return to Earth’s neighbourhood on July 7, 2119. During that time, 2019 NJ2 will be flying at a much farther distance from Earth compared to its upcoming approach. CNEOS further estimated that it will be about 0.25594 astronomical units or around 23.8 million miles away from Earth during its future visit in 2119.
Recently, a report published by spacetelescope.org says that there are more than 700 000 asteroids that have been found in space. It further added that asteroids are mainly found in an area called the ‘main belt’, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
In recent days, we all have heard about many asteroids including 2019 NN3, 2019 MB4, 2019 MT2, 2006 QV89, 2016 NO56M, RF12 and others going past through our planet. Although these asteroids were really close to Earth, but we were really fortunate.
There will be a question in your mind that why asteroids are approaching towards Earth? And the answer is that the gravitational force of Earth pulls all the asteroids and therefore they come so close to our planet.
Well, it is a warning bell for us as because some day any of these asteroids will hit the Earth and can cause massive damage to the mankind. Remember that asteroids can bring Earthquake and Tsunami too.
On December 18 last year, a large meteoroid was exploded over the Bering Sea, however, it went unnoticed due to the remote location. According to the NASA, the explosion of meteoroid unleashed around 173 kilotons of energy, more than 10 times that of the atomic bomb blast over Hiroshima in World War II. Also, it was the most powerful explosion in the atmosphere since the fireball that burst over the Russian town of Chelyabinsk in 2013. That was 440 kilotons and left 1,500 people injured, mostly from glass flying out of smashed windows.