Earth To Have Close Encounter With Asteroid 2019 WR3 Tomorrow (Photo Credit: Pixabay.com)
Earth is no stranger to close encounters with asteroids (space rocks). Our planet is all set to have a close encounter with a huge asteroid identified as 2019 WR3 at the early hours of Saturday, December 7. The space rock 2019 WR3 will come dangerously close to Earth at a staggering speed of around 16,800mph (27,036km/h), according to NASA’s asteroid trackers. As big as London’s St Paul’s cathedral and taller than Egypt’s iconic pyramids, asteroid 2019 WR3 will make its closest approach to Earth around 2.30 AM (IST) on December 7.
During its closest approach, asteroid 2019 WR3 will be only 3.38 million miles (5.44 million km) away from the Earth’s centre. Fortunately, the massive space rock will zip past the Earth at speeds of around 16,799mph (27,036km/h). Relax, we are safe. Asteroid WR3 is an Apollo-type asteroid trapped within the inner solar system. NASA has also classified the rock a NEO or Near-Earth Object, meaning its orbit brings it incredibly close to our planet. Measures somewhere in the range of 249ft to 55.7ft (76m to 170m) in diameter, asteroid WR3 was first spotted on November 27.
It is worth mentioning here that on December 20, asteroid 216258 (2006 WH1) will come dangerously close to Earth at a staggering speed of 26,843 miles per hour. The 540-metre space rock is the same size as the World Trade Centre and would cause a significant amount of damage and mass extinction if hits Earth.
On December 26, asteroid CH59 will come astronomically close to Earth. Measuring somewhere around 2,000 feet, asteroid CH59 is hurtling towards Earth at the speed of 27,450mph. The space rock will come dangerously close to Earth at around 7.54 AM (GMT) of December 26, 2019. During its closest approach, asteroid CH59 will approach the planet from a distance of about 0.04874 astronomical units (au). Asteroid CH59 is comparable in size to China’s Canton Tower and The Sears Tower in Chicago, US.
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.