Earth had a close encounter with the biggest asteroid dubbed as 1998 HL1 on Friday night. Fortunately, asteroid 1998 HL1 failed to collide with our planet or else massive casualties would have occurred. If 1998 HL1 would have struck a city, the entire area would have been wiped out. Whereas, if the asteroid would have hit the ocean, it would have triggered mega-tsunami.
With an estimated diameter of 3,248 feet, the massive space rock came dangerously close to Earth at around 10:50 pm (IST) on Friday at a velocity of 25,000 miles per hour. The space rock had zipped past the Earth from a distance of around 0.04155 astronomical units or almost 3.9 million miles from the planet’s centre. Notably, a single astronomical unit measures the distance between the Earth and the Sun – about 93 million miles (149.6 million km).
Asteroid 1998 HL1, which has been classified as “Potentially Hazardous Asteroid” (PHA) by NASA, may return to Earth’s neighbourhood on October 15, 2026.
Asteroids are small, rocky objects. 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. Shocked to hear that? Well, a car-sized asteroid slams into the Earth's atmosphere about once in a year. Whereas, an asteroid large enough to threaten the existence of life on Earth arrives once in every few million.