Brace yourself! An asteroid, called 2019 SP3, almost as wide as Buckingham Palace will come very close to the Earth on Thursday (October 3). The android is classified as ‘potentially hazardous’ by NASA. The object is 19 metres in width, whereas Buckingham Palace is 24 metres high. It will zoom past the Earth at a distance of 0.97 lunar units.
2019 SP3 will miss Earth by just 231,690 miles, whizzing past at 8.7 kilometres per second – more than 31,000km per hour, according to www.express.co.uk.
The space agency said: “Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are currently defined based on parameters that measure the asteroid’s potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth. Specifically, all asteroids with a minimum orbit intersection distance (MOID) of 0.05 au or less are considered PHAs.”
In 2013, a 20-metre meteor exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, which smashed windows and caused injuries to more than 1,000 people. The report said experts had not anticipated the incident, leading to fears that Earth could be surprised by a more devastating asteroid strike in the future.
While the chances of a major asteroid hitting Earth are small – NASA believes there is a one in 300,000 chance every year that a space rock which could cause regional damage will hit – the devastating prospect is not impossible.
Meanwhile, reports suggest asteroid 1998 HL1, the biggest space rock, will dangerously approach the Earth in a couple of weeks. If the supergiant space rock hits the Earth, the impact event would create an explosion powerful enough to wipe out a large and populated city. It is worth mentioning here that asteroids, if hit Earth, can bring tsunamis, shock waves and flattening winds that could be catastrophic.
The space rocks approach towards the Earth due to the gravitational forces that affect them. It is said that one day all life on the Earth will be extinct. Not only life, but the Earth will also extinct someday and an asteroid could be the possible reason.