Asteroid terror: Earth Had Close Encounter With Space Rock 2002 PZ39 (Representational Image) (Photo Credit: Pixabay.com)
Earth had a very close encounter with A huge asteroid identified as 163373 (2002 PZ39), which was bigger than the world's tallest building, on Saturday. Measuring somewhere around 3,250 feet, asteroid 2002 PZ39 came dangerously close to Earth at 4.30 PM (IST). Fortunately, asteroid 2002 PZ39 failed to collide with our planet or else massive casualties would have occurred.
During the flyby, asteroid 2002 PZ39 reached a speed of more than 34,000mph. Asteroid 2002 PZ39 had zip past the planet from a distance 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.