Asteroid 4 times the size of a 102-story building is rushing towards Earth
According to the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, the asteroid, called 1989 JA, is heading towards Earth, about 4 million km away, nearly 10 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon.
The space rock is 1.8 km in diameter, traveling at 76,000 km/h, 20 times faster than a speeding bullet, which can cause enormous damage to the planet if a collision occurs. .
It is estimated that the asteroid is 4 times the size of the Empire State Building in New York, USA. This is a 102-storey building with a total height of 381 meters, and if you include the antenna it is 442 meters high. The building was designed by Shreve, Lamb and Harmon. Empire State officially started construction in January 1930 and completed in May 1931 and was the tallest building in the world until 1972.
According to the US space agency NASA, 1989 JA is classified as ‘potentially dangerous’, making it the largest asteroid to come close to Earth this year.
However, experts calculate the asteroid will safely pass Earth, will not pass close to the planet until June 2055, 70 times the distance between Earth and Moon.
It is one of nearly 29,000 near-Earth objects that NASA tracks each year. The agency tracks any passing objects within about 48 million kilometers of Earth’s orbit. Most of these objects are extremely small, with 1989 JA alone being about 99% larger than the objects that NASA tracks.
NASA keeps a close eye on asteroids like these and recently launched a mission to test if it’s possible to deflect dangerous asteroids from their collision course with Earth.
In November 2021, NASA launched a spacecraft called the DART Dual Asteroid Redirection Test. The spacecraft will collide head-on with Dimorphos, a small moon orbiting the near-Earth asteroid Didymos.
Dimorphos is about 160 meters in size, about 11 million km from the planet, is moving at a speed of 23,758 km / h. The collision is expected to take place in the fall of 2022. The impact will not destroy the asteroid but alter its orbit.
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