Massive Asteroid Labeled By NASA As Hazardous Headed For Earth This Week

 

A massive asteroid the size of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge will pass within 4,302,775 km of Earth. The asteroid is also believed to be the same height as the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa of Dubai, which is over 800m high.

This asteroid, named 153201 2000 WO107, is expected to come near Earth on Sunday, November 29, at 10:09 GMT and is predicted to be going around 56,000mph.

It has been classified as a Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) and a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA), because it is estimated to come within 1.3 astronomical miles of Earth.

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NASA keeps track of all of the asteroids that they can find in space, but any object within 7.5 million kilometers of Earth, that is also over 150m wide, is listed as “potentially hazardous,” by the space agency.

The vast majority of the asteroids that are listed as potentially hazardous pass by earth safely.

Astronomers estimate that they are currently tracking nearly 2,000 asteroids, comets, and other objects that may threaten Earth, and new ones are found every single day.

Millions of asteroids exist, many the shattered remnants of planetesimals, bodies within the young Sun’s solar nebula that never grew large enough to become planets.

In June 2018, the US National Science and Technology Council warned that America is unprepared for an asteroid impact event, and has developed and released the “National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy Action Plan” to better prepare.

NASA’s has collected data on some of the biggest asteroids that have come close to Earth over the last 120 years in its near Earth object close approach database.

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The biggest in the database is 3122 Florence, which estimated to be between 4km and 9km. Florence passed Earth on September 1, 2017, and is expected to pass by again on September 2, 2057.

The United Nations declared 30 June as International Asteroid Day to educate the public about asteroids. The date of International Asteroid Day commemorates the anniversary of the Tunguska asteroid impact over Siberia, Russian Federation, on 30 June 1908.

In April 2018, the B612 Foundation predicted that, “It’s 100 percent certain we’ll be hit [by a devastating asteroid], but we’re not 100 percent sure when.”

In June 2018, the US National Science and Technology Council warned that America is unprepared for an asteroid impact event, and has developed and released the “National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy Action Plan” to better prepare.

Ed Lu, executive director of the Asteroid Institute and a former NASA astronaut, said that it’s an exciting time for planetary defense because we are on the verge of an “absolute flood of new observations” that will allow us to track 10 times more asteroids than we have ever tracked before.

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