A gigantic asteroid named as ‘Asteroid FT3’, which has the destructive power of 2,700 megatons of explosive TNT, will come barrelling past towards the Earth very soon.
NASA has revealed that the Asteroid FT3 is all set to mark the first of 165 approaches between 2019 and 2116 on October 3 this year. NASA further estimates a small chance of the asteroid hitting us on October 2, 2024 and then on October 3, 2025.
“On any one of these asteroid flybys, the risk of cataclysm is low but should the asteroid veer off course and straight into Earth, the results could be cataclysmic,” NASA said.
It is to be noted that Asteroid FT3 measures an estimated 1,115ft (340m) in diameter and it weighs an incredible 55,000,000,000kg.
According to a report in express.co.uk, if the asteroid were to ever hit the Earth, the rock would slam into the planet at 20.37km per second or more than 45,500mph. The force of impact would likely be equal to 2,700 megatons of TNT or 2.7 million tonnes of TNT.
Asteroid FT3 is a so-called Apollo-type space rock, meaning it follows an orbit similar to asteroid 1862 Apollo. NASA had first spotted the gigantic rock on March 20, 2007 and has since confirmed FT3’s orbit based on a total of 14 observations.
The US space agency said, “In the unlikely case where a particular potential impact event persists until the orbit is relatively well constrained, the impact probability and associated risk will tend to increase as observations are added.”
“This is not too paradoxical: If an asteroid is indeed going to come very near the Earth then a collision cannot be ruled out early on. The impact probability will tend to grow as the orbit is refined and alternative and safer trajectories are eliminated,” it added,
“Eventually, the impact probability will drop – usually quite abruptly – to zero or, if the asteroid is really on a collision trajectory, it will continue to grow until it reaches 100 percent,” NASA concluded.