Asteroids, if hit Earth, can cause massive destruction and we are well aware of that. In space, there are millions of asteroids that exist. Of course major asteroids are no harm to us, but few can be. On June 30, the International Asteroid Day was celebrated across the globe to create awareness among people regarding potential asteroid hits that may bring catastrophic effects on the Earth.
It is to be noted that the United Nations had decided to choose June 30 as the International Asteroid Day in remembrance of the largest recorded asteroid hit that happened in 1908 over Tunguska and Russia, which destroyed acres of forest.
In the view of asteroids posing massive risk to Earth, NASA is now developing a planetary defence weapon. Yes, you read it right. The planetary defence weapon will be used to protect the Earth from future rogue body impacts. According to a report of International Business Times, NASA will use this planetary defence weapon to hit the space body with a large spacecraft, so that the collision trajectory can be changed.
Asteroid Bennu is a carbonaceous asteroid in the Apollo group discovered by the LINEAR Project on 11 September 1999. It has a mean diameter of approximately 492 metre (the size of the Empire State building) and is expected to collide with our planet in 2135. The gigantic asteroid has an estimated weight of 79 billion kilograms has been observed extensively with the Arecibo Observatory planetary radar and the Goldstone Deep Space Network.
Earlier, the US space agency had the plans to deflect this asteroid using the planetary defence weapon. However, several experts believe that the space agency will not succeed in deviating the collision course of Bennu due to its gigantic size and weight.
Asteroid named 2010 RF12, which weighs 500 tons and is about seven metres in diameter, holds the dubious honour of topping both the Sentry List (Earth Impact Monitoring system) and the ESA impact risk list. Currently, the asteroid is round 215 million kilometres from Earth and is traveling at a speed of 117,935kph.
Having a radius of approximately 6,400 kilometres, the asteroid could hit Earth in 2095. Due to the asteroid's relatively small size, there is very little danger of harm. The impact is forecast to be slightly less than the meteor that hit the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in 2013, which damaged thousands of buildings and injured hundreds of people.
Interestingly, the 2010 RF12 is set to pass Earth on August 13, 2022.
The asteroid, called Apophis, stretches about 1,100 feet (340 metres) across and will pass within 19,000 miles (31,000 kilometres) of Earth's surface on April 13, 2029. It is to be noted that if this misses earth in 2029, it will make a possible impact seven years later on April 13, 2036.
If asteroid Apophis hits the Earth, it may trigger the biggest earthquake ever recorded on the planet. According to the experts, if the asteroid Apophis hits Earth and triggers earthquake then it will result in the death of hundreds of thousands of people.
Asteroid 1979 XB, which measures 900 metres in diameter, is currently hurtling through the solar system at a speed of 70,000 kilometres per hour. 1979 XB is coming 30 kilometres closer with the Earth every second. According to the experts, asteroid 1979 XB is likely to make an impact before the end of this century.