Earth had a very close encounter with an asteroid identified as JD1, which was taller than New York’s Empire State Building, on Sunday evening. Measuring somewhere between 656ft and 1,476ft (200m to 450m) across, asteroid JD1 came dangerously close to Earth at around 7:15 PM (IST). Fortunately, asteroid JD1 failed to collide with our planet or else massive casualties would have occurred.
Asteroid JD1 has been classified as a Near-Earth Object or NEO. During the flyby, asteroid JD1 reached a speed of more than 26,600mph (42,900kph). At its closest, asteroid JD1 approached Earth from a distance of about 0.03312 astronomical units.
It is to be noted that one astronomical unit is the distance from Earth to the Sun – about 93 million miles (149.6 million km). Asteroid 2015 JD1 was first spotted in the solar system four years ago in May 2015. NASA’s trackers have since characterized it as an Apollo-type NEO or Near-Earth Object. Asteroid JD1 crosses Earth’s orbit in a fashion similar to Asteroid 1862 Apollo.
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.