Asteroid 2019 LC1 approaches towards Earth (File Photo)
The gigantic asteroid named as ‘2019 LC1’ will brush past the Earth soon, according to the data gathered by NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS). It is to be noted that the asteroid is as big as the Chicago Water Tower.
The data collected by CNEOS says that 2019 LC1 is currently travelling at a speed of 22,100 miles per hour. “It has a diameter of 141 feet and is expected to reach its closest distance from Earth on June 19 at 9:45 a.m. ST,” said CNEOS. Once 2019 LC1 makes its approach, NASA estimated that the asteroid will be about 0.04848 astronomical units or around 4.5 million miles away from the planet’s centre.
“Near-Earth objects are asteroids and other space rocks that typically orbit the Sun. From time to time, the trajectory paths of these asteroids would change, which could bring them closer to the planet,” explains NASA.
In a statement, NASA said, “As they orbit the Sun, [near-Earth objects] can occasionally approach Earth.” “Note that a ‘close’ passage astronomically can be very far away in human terms: millions or even tens of millions of kilometres,” the American space agency added.
Importantly, NASA had first detected that the asteroid is on a near-collision course with Earth on May 30.
On December 18 last year, a large meteoroid was exploded over the Bering Sea, however, it went unnoticed due to the remote location. According to the NASA, the explosion of meteoroid unleashed around 173 kilotons of energy, more than 10 times that of the atomic bomb blast over Hiroshima in World War II. Also, it was the most powerful explosion in the atmosphere since the fireball that burst over the Russian town of Chelyabinsk in 2013. That was 440 kilotons and left 1,500 people injured, mostly from glass flying out of smashed windows.