Asteroid 2019 RX2 detected by the US space agency NASA will approach Earth on Wednesday. The asteroid is likely to explode in the air if it breaches Earth’s atmosphere. Identified by NASA’s Centre for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the asteroid is at present traveling at a speed of almost 12,000 miles per hour.
Asteroid 2019 RX2 around 39 feet in diameter is expected to explode mid-air is not necessarily non-lethal. According to International Business Times: “back in 2013, an asteroid that was about 66 feet long breached Earth’s atmosphere and exploded over the Chelyabinsk Oblast region in Russia. The explosion caused by the asteroid released energy that was equivalent to 500 kilotons of TNT, which is 33 times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan in World War II.”
According to a Space Telecope report, there are more than 7 lakh asteroids that have been found in space. It further added that asteroids are mainly found in an area called the ‘main belt’, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and Tesla, has already warned that a massive asteroid will hit Earth and space agencies will not be able to do anything about it.
"Great name! Wouldn’t worry about this particular one, but a big rock will hit Earth eventually & we currently have no defense," Musk tweeted while responding to a news on the NASA is preparing for the ‘colossal God of Chaos’ asteroid.
In 2016, a NASA scientist warned that the Earth is unprepared for such an event. In April 2018, the B612 Foundation reported "It's 100 per cent certain we'll be hit [by a devastating asteroid], but we're not 100 per cent sure when." Also, in 2018, physicist Stephen Hawking, in his final book Brief Answers to the Big Questions, considered an asteroid collision to be the biggest threat to the planet.