Earth had a close encounter with an asteroid dubbed as 2019 UJ3 on Thursday evening i.e Halloween Day. Measuring somewhere in the range of 55.7ft to 124.6ft (17m to 38m) across, asteroid 2019 UJ3 came dangerously close to Earth at around 6:05 PM (IST) or 12:35 PM (GMT). Fortunately, asteroid 2019 UJ3 failed to collide with our planet or else massive casualties would have occurred.
Asteroid 2019 UJ3 has been classified as a Near-Earth Object or NEO. During the flyby, asteroid 2019 UJ3 reached the speed of around 8.59km per second or 19,215mph (30,924kph). At its closest, asteroid 2019 UJ3 approached Earth from a distance of about 0.01871 astronomical units.
It is to be noted that one astronomical unit is the distance from Earth to the Sun – about 93 million miles (149.6 million km). According to a report of express.co.uk, asteroid UJ3 will shorten this down to just 1.7 million miles (2.79 million km) on the night of Halloween.
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? However, a car-sized asteroid slams into the Earth's atmosphere about once in a year. On the other hand, an asteroid large enough to threaten the existence of life on Earth arrives once every few million.