asteroid 2019 NJ2 (Photo Credit: Twitter)
Asteroid named 2019 NJ2, with an estimated diameter of around 207 feet, reached its closest distance to Earth on Saturday early morning at around 1.30 am. However, we were fortunate that the asteroid 2019 NJ2 did not collide with the Earth.
Everyone would be aware with the fact that asteroids, if hit the Earth, can cause massive destruction on the planet. Recently, we witnessed many asteroids going past through our planet. We were fortunate as these deadly asteroids did not collide with the Earth. It is worth mentioning here that the asteroids can approach towards the Earth due to the gravitational forces that affect them. Therefore, our fortune can be turned into misfortune anytime. But for now, we are safe.
Coming back to Asteroid 2019 NJ2, the lethal space rock travelled at a speed of 30,000 miles per hour and was about 0.03421 astronomical units or roughly 3.1 million miles away from the planet’s centre, when it zoom past the Earth.
It is to be noted that Asteroid 2019 NJ2 was first observed on June 29 this year. CNEOS data had earlier said that the asteroid’s first recorded close approach happened in 1952 when the space rock flew near Venus. The NASA’s CNEOS had also predicted that the asteroid 2019 NJ2 is expected to return to Earth’s neighbourhood on July 7, 2119. During that time, 2019 NJ2 will be flying at a much farther distance from Earth compared to its upcoming approach. CNEOS had further estimated that it will be about 0.25594 astronomical units or around 23.8 million miles away from Earth during its future visit in 2119.
According to a report of spacetelescope.org, there are more than 700 000 asteroids that have been found in space. It further added that asteroids are mainly found in an area called the ‘main belt’, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
In December 2018, a large meteorite exploded over the Bering Sea, releasing 173 kilotons of energy, 10 times more than the Hiroshima atomic bomb blast. However, this explosion went unnoticed as it happened in a less crowded and remote area of the planet.