Asteroids Heading Towards Earth

Lexi Ariete, Contributor

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As of recently, scientists at NASA have spotted six asteroids heading in the direction of Earth, with one of them having a size scaling larger than the Empire State Building. Luckily, scientists have said that people do not need to panic.

Every day, there are asteroids all around the Earth, that head towards Earth more often than we notice. Asteroids can start off pretty large, but can decrease in size when in impact with something strong enough to break the asteroid. The smaller pieces that break off can sometimes head towards the Earth, but as Fox 8 says, “our atmosphere typically burns the smaller ones out.” Although the smaller pieces can disintegrate overtime, there is still a chance that they can have an impact on the Earth. Another quote from Fox 8 explains, “in 2013, a meteor 55-feet in diameter broke through the Earth’s atmosphere over Russia. Through there wasn’t an impact, the blast still injured more than 1000 people.” This means that there is a chance of the asteroids hitting the Earth, and having a blast that could affect anything within its range.

NASA scientists have said that one of the asteroids were 45,000 miles away from hitting the Earth sometime during the month of July 2019. They have estimated that another one will pass by on August tenth, thankfully, five million miles from the Earth. The scientists have expected to have five more asteroids passing by on August twelfth, seventeenth, twenty-sixth, twenty-seventh, and twenty-eighth. A different asteroid was expected to have about a 0.001 chance of hitting the Earth in September, but with good news from NASA, they said that the asteroid is no longer a threat to Earth.

One of the six asteroids, also known as the Asteroid 2006 QQ23 that was planned to fly by on August tenth, is expected to be larger than the empire state building, as stated before. The Asteroid 2006 QQ23 is said to be larger than the Apophis 99942, which was another asteroid threat back in 2004, which is named after “the ancient Egyptian spirit of destruction, darkness, chaos and evil.” If it were to hit the Earth, it could have a statewide impact. If there was a chance (although being rare) of an asteroid actually hitting Earth, NASA would send a spacecraft up, to try and avert the asteroid. A writer from Mashable India stated, “…might spark a major tsunami that can wipe out the entire west coast of North America, if it manages to hit our Earth.” This a very scary fact. With enough speed and impact, the asteroid can not only start a large tsunami, but a tsunami that can wipe out the west coast of an entire country. There is another possible scenario where an asteroid passes through what is called a gravitational keyhole. According to International Business Times, “large regions in space that are heavily affected by the gravitational pull of nearby planets… gravitational forces could affect its orbit and nudge it into a path that’s on a direct collision course with Earth. 

In the end, NASA will try their best to defend the Earth, and assure the safety of everyone. With multiple asteroids making their way in the direction of earth, everyone should try to keep track of reports and any available news on the asteroids’ locations.

Sources:

https://www.nj.com/news/2019/08/6-asteroids-are-headed-for-earth-this-month-and-1-is-bigger-than-the-empire-state-building.html

An asteroid bigger than the Empire State Building is passing by Earth next week

https://www.ibtimes.com/nasa-asteroid-tracker-weeks-pha-bigger-apophis-god-chaos-asteroid-2810972

https://in.mashable.com/science/5467/deadly-asteroid-apophis-will-cause-massive-tsunami-if-it-manages-to-hit-our-earth

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