NASA detected an asteroid that might impact Earth next year, therefore provoking long term chaos in the climate of our planet and deeply affecting the atmosphere. This might sound like a sci-fi movie scenario but it is actually closer to being real than people might think.
The asteroid is officially named “1998 OR2” and it has a diameter of about two and a half miles. According to the Centre for Near Earth Object Studies, it is set to fly past our planet at about 10am on April 29 2020. It is expected to fly at about 3.9 million miles from Earth, but a collision provoked by mitigating factors is still possible.
Possible reasons for a collision
One of the causes for a hypothetical collision is the Yarkovsky effect in which heat exerted from an internal object like a star can modify the spin of an asteroid and push it in a deadly collision course with our planet.
Another potential factor is the fact that the asteroid could pass through a gravitational keyhole, where the pull of Earth’s gravity is strong enough to alter the trajectory of the asteroid.
The asteroid’s diameter is about the size of New York’s Central Park and it might cover a great deal of London, from Covent Garden to the northern areas of Islington.
Former Republican congressman and NASA administrator Jim Brindenstine warned that, while an impact isn’t likely to happen in the next century, the eventual collision can’t be dismissed.
“We have to make sure that people understand that this is not about Hollywood, it’s not about the movies,” said Jim Brindenstine.