A mammoth asteroid (space rock) dubbed as CH59 is all set to come astronomically close to Earth just one day after Christmas, according to NASA’s asteroid trackers. 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). Importantly, one astronomical unit is the distance from our planet to the Sun or about 93 million miles (149.6 million km). Luckily, asteroid CH59 will considerably cut this down to just 4.5 million miles (7.29 million km) next month. In other words, the space rock will zip past us by nearly 19 times as far as the Moon is from Earth. Yes, you read it right.
Asteroid CH59 is comparable in size to China’s Canton Tower and The Sears Tower in Chicago, US. This means the asteroid is not big enough to end all life on Earth. It is worth mentioning here that after the asteroid’s close approach to Earth, NASA predicts CH59 will pass incredibly close to Venus on September 10, 2020. The asteroid will visit Earth again in March 2021, December 2023 and March 2024.
On December 20 i.e. days before the approach of CH59, 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.
It is to be noted that 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.