Asteroid Warning: 360ft Space Rock Hurtling Towards Earth At 82,080kph

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The giant space rock known as the Asteroid 2019 LA will fly by our planet on Friday. NASA has predicted that the asteroid will come alarmingly close to Earth on a so-called Earth Close Approach trajectory.

Asteroid Warning: 360ft Space Rock Hurtling Towards Earth At 82,080kph

 

NASA's trackers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) estimates the space rock will make its closest approach to our planet at 9.40pm BST or 4.40pm Eastern Time. And, when it passes by Earth, it will reach speeds up to 22.28km per second or 51,000mph (82,080kph).

The asteroid is a Near-Earth Object or NEO. These are the objects that hurtle through the inner solar system, within the confines of the Asteroid Belt between Jupiter and Mars. The LA asteroid is huge in size, as it ranges from 164ft to 360.8ft (50m to 110m) across. An asteroid that big can easily wipe out a whole city if it collides with the Earth.

Fortunately, there's no chance the asteroid will collide with our planet. NASA said the asteroid will miss the Earth by about 0.03555 astronomical units (AU). One AU is equal to 93 million miles which is the exact distance between Earth and the Sun.

Previously, a space rock called the 1999 KW4 passed by the Earth and it was so huge it brought along its own moon as well.

The asteroid was around 1.5 km wide which is around three times the size of its moon, which is around 0.5 km. At its closest, the asteroid was more than 3 million miles away from our planet. The next approach that the 1999 KW4 will make with the Earth will be in 2036.

Scientists also believe that the Earth is facing an apocalyptic threat. The astronomers are assuming that an asteroid strike "is not that far away." NASA's chief administrator Jim Bridenstine has issued a warning - saying the Earth is "about to face its biggest threat from outer space."

 

The space agency and Elon Musk's SpaceX are working on the development of a Double Asteroid Redirection Test (D.A.R.T). This is an attempt to stop an asteroid that is hurtling at great speeds towards the Earth. NASA hopes to detect 90 percent of space rocks ranging from 140 meters and above using the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope in Chile.

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