Asteroids, asteroids and asteroids! Now-a-days, you must be hearing a lot about the celestial phenomenon. Aren't you? A large number of asteroids are hovering all around the Earth and we might get hit too sooner or later. It is to be noted that on Tuesday, at least four "potentially hazardous" asteroids made close approaches to Earth. Fortunately, they failed to collide with our planet or else massive destruction would have occurred.
Of four, 3 asteroids were only discovered hours before they zip past the Earth and Moon. However, an asteroid dubbed as 2019 SM8 was seen by astronomers at the Mount Lemmon Observatory in Arizona on Monday night. It flew by Earth hours later on Tuesday, NASA confirmed. According to a report of express.co.uk, the closest asteroid 2019 SM8 got to Earth was approximately 99,000 miles (159,000 kilometres).
In the meantime, Space.com reported that NASA found another new space rock named as asteroid 2019 SE8 which also made a close approach to Earth just an hour later. The closest asteroid 2019 SE8 got to Earth was approximately 674,000 miles (1.1 million kilometres). Also, asteroids 2019 SD8 and 2018 FK5 were detected by the US space centre.
Previously, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine and SpaceX chief Elon Musk had warned that the chances of an impact of asteroids are more than people realise.
An asteroid collision is now accepted by scientists to be responsible for a mass extinction event 66 million years ago. An asteroid of between six and nine miles in size wiped out three-quarters of plant and animal species on our planet.
It is to be noted that an asteroid (space rock) 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 in every few million.