Classified as potentially hazardous asteroid, the space rock dubbed as 2019 GT3 will approach dangerously towards Earth on Friday (today) at 9:51 am (IST). Asteroid 2019 GT3 is being tracked by NASA. According to the NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the approaching asteroid is almost as big as the Empire State Building. It is to be noted that asteroid 2019 GT3 is powerful enough to destroy an entire city during an impact event. Asteroids pose greatest danger to the Earth and human life on it. Aren’t they? Asteroids (space rocks) are small, rocky objects that orbit the Sun. The space rocks approach towards the Earth due to the gravitational forces that affect them. Asteroids can bring tsunamis, shock waves and flattening winds that could be catastrophic. A large number of asteroids are hovering all around the Earth and we might get hit too sooner or later. In August this year, asteroids identified as 2019 ON, 2006 QQ23, 454094 2013 BZ45, 2018 PN22, 2016 PD, 2002 JR100 and 2019 OU1 would have hit our planet. Lucky we are, as they all failed to hit our planet and we are safe.
Coming back to the asteroid 2019 GT3, the supergiant space rock is currently traveling at a speed of 30,500 miles per hour. It is estimated to have a diameter of 1,214 feet. According to a report of ibtimes.com, the asteroid is capable of creating a crater that’s about 3 miles wide if it collides with Earth.
During its approach, the supermassive space rock will be about 0.04996 astronomical units or around 4.6 million miles from the planet’s center. It is worth mentioning here that asteroid 2019 GT3 was first observed on April 3. Importantly, the chances of asteroid 2019 GT3 hitting the Earth is nil and it will zip past our planet. Relax, we are safe.
According to the NASA’s CNEOS, asteroid 2019 GT3’s next near-Earth approach will happen on June 20, 2030. During this time, the asteroid will zip past the planet from a distance of 0.09599 astronomical units or roughly 8.9 million miles away. Due to 2019 GT3’s close-intersections with Earth’s orbit, it has been classified by CNEOS as a potentially hazardous asteroid.
“Potentially hazardous asteroids are currently defined based on parameters that measure the asteroid’s potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth,” CNEOS said in a statement. “Specifically, all asteroids with a minimum orbit intersection distance of 0.5 [astronomical units] or less and an absolute magnitude of 22.0 or less are considered PHAs,” it added.