The so-called 2020 DA4 is the name given to an asteroid that, from time to time, enters Earth’s orbit. NASA’s agency’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies stated that currently, the asteroid is speeding towards our planet at 20,000 miles per hour.
The 2020 DA4 asteroid was first seen on February 27th. After the encounter this year, the study of its trajectory predicted its return to Earth’s surroundings on May 31st, 2022.
An asteroid might hit Earth on April 29th
2020 DA4 is 43,89 meters wide and belongs to the Apollo asteroids. They are a group of near-Earth asteroids, and they are Earth-crossing asteroids that have an orbital semi-major axis more significant than that of the Earth.
The number of known Apollo asteroids is 10,485, making the class the largest group of near-Earth objects, of which 1,648 are identified as potentially hazardous asteroids.
Former Chelyabinsk asteroid was an Apollo-class asteroid. It was 17,98 meters and had a mass of about 9,100 metric tons. In 2013 it exploded over the city of Chelyabinsk in the southern Urals region of Russia, injuring an estimated 1,500 people with flying glass from broken windows.
The same scenario is expected from 2020 DA4, only on a larger scale, given its larger size. It will hopefully explode when it enters the atmosphere. Even if the collision isn’t expected to be a ground impact, the event will still harm structures, shatter home windows, and injure people on the ground.
We should not worry about this massive space rock
Still, there is a chance that the asteroid would impact our planet. According to the Planetary Society, if that’s the case, global devastation and a possible crumble of civilization would happen.
National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy, said that it could trigger earthquakes, tsunamis, and other secondary outcomes that extend far past the immediate impact area.
But with 2020 DA4 asteroid being half the size of the meteorite that caused the Tunguska event back in 1908, a major disaster such as the destruction of a city or the creation of a tsunami is not at stake.