NASA detected recently a space rock so massive that it could destroy our entire planet. The space agency’s tracking systems from the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies identified the asteroid, which has been dubbed 52768 (1998 OR2), speeding toward Earth at a velocity of approximately 31, 320km/h. If the massive asteroid keeps it up like this, it is supposed to approach Earth on April 29.
NASA Identifies Asteroid 52768 (1998 OR2) as NEO
According to scientists, we don’t have reasons to worry at all. They explained how the space object will only make a “close approach” and won’t enter our planet’s orbit. Asteroid 52768 (1998 OR2) measures almost 4.1 kilometers across and is categorized by the Planetary Society as a hazardous space object.
It’s amongst all other cosmic features close to or bigger than 1 km in diameter, present on a scale that threatens worldwide destruction. Bruce Betts, a scientist, explained how small space objects, measuring only a few meters, hit regularly and explode up in the sky and don’t bring damage at all.
The Massive Asteroid Has Been First Spotted in 1987
Chelyabinsk-sized asteroids of almost 20m that hit back in 2013 bring shock waves that harm people and shatter windows. Tunguska, too, is another space object of approximately 40 m that brought destruction over Siberia in 1908. Such an asteroid could create a tsunami or eliminate a whole city in a matter of seconds. Betts stated: “Even larger asteroids that hit even less frequently could cause a global catastrophe.”
The US National Science and Technology Council has also announced and warned in its development tactics report back in 2018 that massive space objects “can trigger earthquakes, tsunamis, and other secondary effects that extend far beyond the immediate impact area.” NASA first detected 52768 (1998 OR2) asteroid flying close to our host star in 1987. It later classified it as a NEO and confirmed its orbit.