Another day, another asteroid. A 181-feet long asteroid named as ‘2019 ON’ is all set to approach dangerously towards the Earth on Thursday i.e. tomorrow 11:23 am (ST). Don’t worry, as the asteroid 2019 ON will not collide with the Earth and it will zip past our planet. So, we are fully safe. Note that asteroids are small, rocky objects that orbit the Sun. The asteroids approach towards the Earth due to the gravitational forces that pulls them. Recently, asteroids including 2019 OK, 2019 OD, 2015 HM10, 2019 OE, 2019 NN3, 2019 MB4, 2019 MT2, 2006 QV89, 2016 NO56M, RF12 and others approaching towards our planet, luckily did not collide with the Earth. These asteroids would have brought tsunamis, shock waves and flattening winds that could be catastrophic. These space rocks could have been the possible reason behind the extinction of life on Earth.
Coming back to the asteroid 2019 ON, the gigantic space rock was spotted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). According to the US space agency’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the asteroid 2019 ON is currently traveling at a staggering speed of 10,400 miles per hour.
During its approach, asteroid 2019 ON will fly past the Earth from a distance of 0.01729 astronomical units or roughly 1.6 million miles away.
It is worth mentioning here that apart from 2019 ON, six other asteroids named as 2006 QQ23, 454094 2013 BZ45, 2018 PN22, 2016 PD, 2002 JR100 and 2019 OU1 will fly past the Earth in August this year.
According to a report published by spacetelescope.org, there are more than 7 lakh asteroids that have been found in space. Asteroids are mainly found in an area called the ‘main belt’, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
Every year on 30 June, the global “Asteroid Day” event takes place to raise awareness about asteroids and what can be done to protect Earth from possible impact. The day falls on the anniversary of the Tunguska event that took place on 30 June 1908, the most harmful known asteroid related event in recent history.
In related news, 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.