Asteroid bigger than Empire State Building to pass by Earth, mark the day!

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Published: August 6, 2019 7:39:27 PM

An asteroid named Asteroid 2006 QQ23 approximately as big as New York's Empire State Building will pass close by the Earth on August 10.

asteroidA asteroid as big as the  2006 QQ23 could destroy a city if it strikes the surface of the Earth. (Representative Image)

Astronomers have found out that an asteroid will be passing by the Earth on August 10. The asteroid which is being speculated to be bigger than the Empire State Building will pass by the Earth from a very close distance and at a speed of 16,740 km per hour. The diameter of the asteroid is estimated to be up to 569 meters and will pass as close as 0.049 astronomical units of Earth, which is approximately 7.4 million kilometres. The celestial objects have been termed as potentially hazardous as it is within 0.5 astronomical units of Earth. Though the chances of its collision to the Earth is negligible.

According to a report published on CNN, the asteroid is not dangerous.  Kelly Fast and Lindley Johnson from the Planetary Defence Coordination Office of NASA said that the Asteroid 2006 QQ23 is “more or less benign and not dangerous”.

READ: Chandrayaan 2: ISRO’s spacecraft set to enter lunar trajectory next week; completes final orbit-raising manoeuvre

The planetary defence coordination page of NASA explains how small astroids of few meters in size are found between the Earth’s and the Moon’s orbit several times throughout the year. Many such fragments of asteroids and comets hit Earth’s atmosphere, and are exploding due to the friction from Earth’s atmosphere, making bright celestial events every night. And few among these make their way to the Earth’s surface in the small fragment as meteorites. NASA and other space agencies keep a track of such events and objects in order to ensure that they do not become an imminent threat to the Earth. As much as six objects equal to the size of the asteroid 2006 QQ23 pass by the Earth every year. But asteroid 2006 QQ23 is quite closer than the others in recent times.

According to NASA, the Earth is safe from any significant threat from space for more than a century and the highest chances of an asteroid hitting the earth are forecasted to date in 2185 with a 0.02 per cent chance of impact.

Notably, if NASA is to be believed, we are safe from celestial apocalypse for at least a century.

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