Whether we like to admit it or not, the Universe is way too big in order to be physically possible for astronomers to detect all the big threats. Unfortunately, a collision with an asteroid can wipe out all life on Earth, if the space rock is big enough. It happened before when the dinosaurs got extinct 65 million years ago; therefore, the main question is not if it will happen, but “WHEN?”.
Hopefully, by the day of the encounter, we can truly hope that humanity will have the necessary tools to destroy or deflect “unwanted guests” who can obliterate us.
Mid-November close-approach of 481394 2006 SF6
A big asteroid named 481394 2006 SF6 will be very close to our planet in November, and NASA is keeping its eyes on it. It’s half the size of the Ben Nevis mountain, and it’s hurtling towards us at the staggering speed of 18,000 mph.
481394 2006 SF6 is classified as an Apollo asteroid, the most dangerous class of asteroids.
Will it hit Earth?
Although 481394 2006 SF6 is also classified as a NEO (Near Earth Object), astronomers say it’s very unlikely that the asteroid will impact our planet. According to NASA, a NEO can be any asteroid, meteoroid or comet orbiting the Sun within 18,600,000 miles, 30 million km, of Earth’s orbit.
The stats are pretty worrying
We might not have reasons to be worried about the November asteroid, but stats revealed by NASA show us some grim facts:
- A football field-size asteroid collides with Earth every 2,000 years
- Some of the bigger rocks from the Asteroid Belt are 583 miles across
- A car-size asteroid hits the Earth on average at least once a year
Of course, it’s not mandatory for a big asteroid to destroy humanity, as we’ve seen many times in the SF movie scenarios, but it could still create plenty of damage and death.
Luckily for us, most rambling asteroids from our solar system are getting attracted by Sun’s and Jupiter’s gravitational pull, the two celestial objects being the “vacuum cleaners” of our Solar System.