Two asteroids Shot Past Earth (Representational Image - Photo Credit: Pixabay.com)
A pair of supergiant asteroids (space rocks) identified as 2000 QW7 and 2010 CO1 zip past the Earth on Saturday. If these two asteroids would have hit the Earth, massive casualties would have occurred. Luckily, they failed. Classified as Near-Earth Objects by NASA's Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), asteroid 2000 QW7 and 2010 CO1 came dangerously close to Earth on Saturday at 5.30 pm (IST) and 9.30 pm (IST), respectively.
Notably, asteroid 200 QW7 measures 2,133 feet (measuring between 290 and 650 metres) and the space rock is as Burj Khalifa - world's tallest building. Yes, you read it right. Earth had a very close encounter with a mammoth asteroid. It approached Earth very dangerously at a staggering speed of 14,361 miles per hour.
During its closest approach, asteroid 2000 QW7 was 0.035428 astronomical units(AU) away from Earth. Space materials are considered as near-Earth objects if they pass within 1.3 astronomical units of Earth. An astronomical unit is the distance from Earth to the sun, or 149.6 million km. Asteroid 2000 QW7 was first detected on August 26, 2000. Asteroid 2000 QW7 is expected to return in Earth's vicinity on October 19, 2038. It passes Earth at every 19.04 years. Asteroid 2000 QW7 is also classified as an 'Armor asteroid' by NASA.
On the other hand, asteroid 2010 CO1 was the second space rock to approach Earth on Saturday. According to the reports, asteroid 2010 CO1 was 260 metres wide and 120 metres long and travelled towards Earth at a staggering speed of about 51,696 kmph. The asteroid's closest approach will occured at around 9.30 pm (IST).
Asteroid 2010 CO1 has been classified by NASA as an 'Apollo Asteroid', as it is a Near-Earth Asteroid with very wide orbit with a perihelion distance less than 1.017 AU, and semi-major axis greater than 1 AU. The asteroid has been classified as 'Potentially Hazardous'ÂÂÂÂÂÂ and would have caused widespread damage if it would have collided with Earth.
Asteroids are small, rocky objects that orbit the Sun. Although asteroids orbit the Sun like planets, they are much smaller than planets. However, asteroids (space rocks) 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 Earth will extinct 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 years.