Asteroid (File Photo)
A supermassive asteroid named as 162082 (1998 HL1) is approaching towards the Earth at a speed of 25,000 miles per hour. According to the NASA, the approaching space rock has an estimated diameter of about 3,248 feet and the asteroid can easily wipe out an entire city. Yes, you read it right. At least three times bigger than the Eiffel Tower, asteroid 162082 (1998 HL1) will come very close to our planet on October 25, 2019. However, asteroid 1998 HL1 will not hit the Earth as it will zoom past our planet and we are fully safe. It is to be noted that asteroids, if hit Earth, can bring tsunamis, shock waves and flattening winds that could be catastrophic. It is worth mentioning here that in recent times, many giant asteroids including 2019 OK, 2019 OD, 2015 HM10, 2019 OE, 2019 NN3, 2019 MB4, 2019 MT2, 2006 QV89, 2016 NO56M, RF12 and others approached towards the Earth, fortunately did not hit our planet. It is said that Earth will reach to its end one day and one of the possible reason for this could be an asteroid.
In a statement, the NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) said, "A 3,248-feet giant asteroid is currently traveling at a speed of 25,000 miles per hour. Asteroid 1998 HL1 is expected to approach Earth on October 25 at 1:21 pm EDT. During its flyby, the asteroid will be about 0.04155 astronomical units or roughly 3.9 million miles from the planet's centre."
It is worth mentioning here that the approaching space rock has been classified by CNEOS as an Apollo asteroid. According to a report published in ibtimes.com, asteroids belonging to this family have a very wide orbit around the Sun and the Earth. From time to time, Apollo asteroids intersect with the planet's orbit as it goes around the Sun.
Due to 1998 HL1's close-intersection with Earth's orbit, it has been labeled by CNEOS as a potentially hazardous asteroid.
"Potentially hazardous asteroids are currently defined based on parameters that measure the asteroidâ€™s potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth," CNEOS said.
"Specifically, all asteroids with a minimum orbit intersection distance of 0.05 [astronomical units] or less and an absolute magnitude of 22.0 or less are considered potentially hazardous asteroids," it added.
Asteroid 1998 HL1 was first observed on April 18, 1998. The last time the asteroid visited Earth's neighborhood was on June 13. During this time, the asteroid approached the planet from a distance of about 0.37388 astronomical units or around 35 million miles away. After this year's approach, 162082 (1998 HL1) will fly past the planet again on October 15, 2026. It is expected to zip past Earth from a distance of 0.28041 astronomical units or roughly 26 million miles away during its future approach.
According to a report published by spacetelescope.org, there are more than 7 lakh asteroids that have been found in space. Asteroids are mainly found in an area called the 'main belt', between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.