NASA has confirmed that an asteroid larger than the tallest man-made structure in the world is currently travelling towards Earth at a speed of almost 34,000 miles per hour. Thankfully, it’ll likely miss us by a few million miles.According to International Business Times, NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) identified that the “potentially hazardous” asteroid could come close to intersecting with our planet’s path on February 15, 2020, at 6:05 a.m. (EST)
You can start watching the asteroid online in the hour before it gets closest to Earth on Saturday at 7 p.m. EDT (2300 GMT)
An asteroid known as 2000 QW7 is expected to pass by Earth closely, but safely, at 3.3 million miles (5.3 million kilometers) from Earth, or about 14 times the average distance between Earth and the moon. (NASA sent out a statement reassuring people that this happens all the time, and there’s no need to panic.) The asteroid’s closest approach will be at 7:54 p.m. EDT (2354 GMT) on Saturday (Sept. 14).
Asteroid 2006 QQ23 is scheduled to zoom by Earth on August 10 and, at an estimated diameter of up to 1,870 feet, it’s easy to see why people are worried.But Lindley Johnson and Kelly Fast of NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office say there’s nothing to fear. Both Johnson and Fast help track what they label as “near Earth objects,” such as asteroids and comets that orbit our sun along with the other planets.
Psyche 16 is nestled between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter and is made of solid metal.
As well as gold, the mysterious object is loaded with heaps of platinum, iron and nickel.
In total, it’s estimated that Psyche’s various metals are worth a gargantuan $10,000 quadrillion.
The asteroid is in a horrible orbit and has a 1% chance of striking Earth in just eight years. And — thank goodness — it doesn’t really exist.
It’s a fictitious asteroid that’s the focus of a realistic exercise devised for scientists and engineers from around the world who are attending the 2019 Planetary Defense Conference being held this week outside Washington, D.C.
A real asteroid of this size, should it ever hit the planet, could wipe out an entire city.
“This is a threat that could happen, even though it’s extremely unlikely,” says Paul Chodas, director of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who created this realistic simulation. “Our goal here is to go through all of the steps that we would have to go through.”
He says a lot has been learned from three previous drills held at past international conferences and from other asteroid exercises that have been separately conducted by officials at NASA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.