Asteroid Terror: Will Space Rock Named 2002 PZ39 Hit Earth On Saturday? (Representative Image) (Photo Credit: Pixabay.com)
Earth is no stranger to the asteroids (space rocks). Our planet is all set to have a close encounter with a huge asteroid identified as 163373 (2002 PZ39). Yes, you read it right. According to NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), asteroid 2002 PZ39 will come dangerously close to Earth on Saturday (February 15, 2020) at 4.30 PM (IST). Measuring somewhere around 3,250 feet, the massive space rock is hurtling towards Earth at the speed of 34,000mph. The data collected by NASA indicates the approaching asteroid is larger than the tallest man-made structure in the world. Since asteroid 2002 PZ39 follows an Earth-crossing orbit, it has a chance of colliding with Earth every time it passes the planet. If 163373 (2002 PZ39) hits the planet, its initial blast would instantly kill off millions.
Asteroid 2002 PZ39 will zip past the planet from a distance of 0.03860 astronomical units or around 3.6 million miles away, NASA’s CNEOS said. One astronomical unit is the distance from our planet to the Sun or about 93 million miles (149.6 million km). This means the space rock will not hit Earth and we are safe.
Asteroids are small, rocky objects that orbit the Sun. Asteroids frequently visit Earth’s neighbourhood as our planet’s gravitational forces affect them. Asteroids can bring tsunamis, shock waves and flattening winds that could be catastrophic.
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.
Last year, many giant asteroids including 2019 OK, 2019 OD, 2015 HM10, 2019 OE, 2019 NN3, 2019 MB4, 2019 MT2, 2006 QV89, 2016 NO56M, RF12, and others approached towards the Earth, fortunately, did not hit our planet.