Asteroid warning: NASA warns of ‘threatening’ asteroid bigger than the blue whale
The asteroid, called 2019 RA, is 30 meters wide, making it bigger than the blue whale – the largest animal to have ever existed. The asteroid, which is travelling at an astonishing speed of 3.5 miles per second, or 12,600 MPH, is predicted to pass Earth at a distance of just 44,000 miles away, an astronomical hair’s width, which NASA has said is a threatening distance, causing the space agency concern. What should be more concerning however, is that the space agency has previously misjudged the flight of an asteroid – and one ultimately came crashing into Earth.
The space agency predicts that if it were to impact Earth, it could cause major damage to a city.The asteroid is passing by Earth at a dangerous distance as it is set to come within 0.0002962 astronomical units (AU).One AU is the distance between the Earth and the Sun.At a mere 44,000 away, NASA classified the space rock as a ‘Potentially Hazardous Asteroid’ (PHA).
The space rock known as 2019 MO was just three metres wide and exploded when it hit the planet’s atmosphere on July 22 above the Caribbean, but the way it approached unexpectedly reaffirms the need for more eyes on the sky.The problem was, NASA said, the space agency could not determine where the space rock was heading.NASA said: “The body had been spotted only four times in just under half an hour, which was not enough information to determine where the object came from or exactly where it was headed.“When first spotted, 2019 MO was about 310,000 miles (500,000 kilometres) from Earth - farther out than the orbit of our Moon.READ MORE: Asteroid horror: 'Dangerous' space rocks being 'thrusted' to Earth
“This was roughly the equivalent of spotting something the size of a gnat from a distance of 310 miles (500 kilometres).”Had 2019 MO been any bigger, it would have caused damage to Earth.However, 2019 RA is ten times as large as 2019 MO, and if previous incidents with similar-sized space rocks are anything to go by, one unfortunate city could bare the brunt of an explosion.In 2013, a 20 metre meteor exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, which smashed windows and caused injuries to more than 1,000 people.DON'T MISS:Asteroid horror: 'Dangerous' space rocks being 'thrusted' to EarthAsteroid horror: NASA shock at freak colour-shifting space rockAsteroid warning: The chilling one-word advice NASA official has
Experts had not anticipated the incident, leading to fears that Earth could be surprised by a more devastating asteroid strike in the future.The 2019 RA “potentially hazardous” asteroid is passing by Earth at a dangerous distance as it is set to come within 0.0002962 astronomical units (AU).One AU is the distance between the Earth and the Sun.
At a mere 44,000 away, NASA classified the space rock as a ‘Potentially Hazardous Asteroid’ (PHA).NASA said: “Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are currently defined based on parameters that measure the asteroid’s potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth.“Specifically, all asteroids with a minimum orbit intersection distance (MOID) of 0.05 au or less are considered PHAs.”