Asteroid 2002 PZ39 May Hit Earth TODAY At 4.30 pm (Representative Image) (Photo Credit: Pixabay.com)
Asteroid 163373 (2002 PZ39) is all set to come dangerously close to Earth on Saturday (today). It is expected to have a close approach today 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. NASA believes that the space rock can cause tsunamis if it collides with Earth.
According to NASA’s CNEOS, Asteroid 2002 PZ39 will zip past the planet from a distance of of about 5.77 million kilometers (approximately 3.59 million miles). One astronomical unit is the distance from our planet to the Sun or about 93 million miles (149.6 million km).
In related news, CNEOS has a list of about 20 asteroids that will pass safely by the earth over the next month. Only one, a relatively small asteroid with an estimated diameter of about 50 metres named asteroid 2018 GY, is expected to come within 1 million miles of earth.
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.