Asteroids to pass by Earth today (Representational Image)
It seems like the Earth has no relief from asteroid threats anytime soon. While we have survived all the recent threats to the human civilization so far, a group of scientists at NASA's Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) have recognized two new giant asteroids, which will reportedly zoom past by Earth today, i.e. Wednesday, August 28, 2019.
However, the space agency has been closely monitoring the near-Earth objects (NEOs) and checking every possible way to alter their orbital path around the sun. Identified as Asteroid 2019 QS, the first space rock will approach towards Earth tomorrow, while the next object, a much bigger one, known as 2019 OU1, will appear hours after the previous one leaves.
Asteroid 2019 QS is expected to be 108 feet wide and 240 feet in diameter while 2019 OU1 is believed to be 560 feet diameter or over twice the size of the other one. Both of them are on their way to Earth and are travelling at a speed of up to 80,000 km per hour. Both the asteroids, if hit, would leave trail of destruction to our planet Earth.
In the wake of these frequent asteroid threats, there are several ongoing missions to near-Earth asteroids, like Bennu and Ryugu, which may slightly change their velocity. However, astronomers need a long time notice on such flyby in order to help avoid collision.
There are certain ways to do something about an asteroid potentially taking a collision course, for instance by changing their velocity "by just 1 km per hour, over years that adds up to thousands of kilometres’ difference in position".
However, another groups of scientists also argued that no known asteroid will pose a significant threat to Earth in the next 100 years. So far, scientists have discovered only one asteroid named 2009 FD, which may impact the humanity in the year 2185.
The Sentry Impact Risk Table, handled by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Centre for NEO studies, is being updated as and when new asteroids are discovered or observed near the Earth. Another asteroid that NASA is studying closely, is Bennu, which has a 1/2700 chance of impacting Earth between 2175 and 2195.