Later this week, billions of people will go about their daily lives and most of them will not be aware that an asteroid will near-miss Earth. NASA has calculated the asteroid’s size to be 2 times larger than the London Shard.
Skyscraper sized asteroid passing by
The asteroid has been designated 2006 QQ23. It has a diameter of 570 meters and will probably speed across Earth at a velocity of about 10.000 mph within 4.6 million miles of Earth. Which sounds like a lot of distance between us and it but it’s like throwing a stick in space.
2006 QQ23 will travel at a relatively safe distance to Earth but it will be close enough to merit a “potentially hazardous” classification by NASA. The asteroid can join quite a long list of dangerous Near Earth Objects that crisscross around the planet. The current number of such objects is currently at 1490.
The London Shard is the sixth-largest building in Europe, coming in at 306 meters. NASA has stated that 25 meters is the minimum size at which an asteroid can cause serious damage to a localized area.
While the relatively small size of 25 meters could be devastating for a city or even a county, an asteroid that is at least a kilometer in diameter could have catastrophic global consequences.
Heavy asteroid traffic
NASA has stated that around 6 similar asteroids are tracked yearly on a so-called near-miss on Earth. Although not a cause for concern at the moment, these asteroids or others like them have a chance to hit Earth in the future.
Because of this, tracking the Near-Earth Objects is vital for gaining knowledge beforehand. As spacecraft advance with technology, we can only hope that the next 100 years will bring us the ability to not only detect incoming asteroids but takes measures to protect the planet against them.