An asteroid impact is probably the most reliable scenario for the end of days on our planet. As we all know, sometime in the distant future, a space rock will indeed hit our world, scorching its surface. It had already happened during the era of dinosaurs, about 66 million years ago, and it will happen again. But, for the moment, we are safe, or at least that’s what astronomers say.
Massive Asteroid To Whiz By Earth Tonight, But It Won’t Be A Threat To Us
However, Earth is frequently visited by giant space rocks. Tonight, for instance, a massive asteroid will whiz by Earth at 11:09 pm EST, or 4:09 am GMT, on Monday morning. The rock is 500 ft in diameter and flies through the vacuum of space at a speed of 38,000 miles per hour, and it will pass at a distance of 3,172,582 miles for us.
Even though that might seem far away, the astronomers call it a “close approach.” That’s why this massive asteroid, known as 2019 VF, as NASA dubbed it, is considered a “Near-Earth Object” or NEO, in short. 2019 VF will visit our planet once again, seven years from now, in November 2026.
The massive asteroid will not be a threat to Earth, as it will pass at a safe distance from us. However, several other space rocks flying out there might not be as friendly as this one. Accordingly, we need a reliable planetary defense system against asteroids.
How Can We Protect Our World Against An Asteroid Impact?
At the moment, NASA and other space agencies keep an eye on the majority of asteroids that can pose a threat to life on Earth. As 2019 VF is, many other NEOs are under surveillance. However, NASA can’t follow all the space rocks in the Solar System, so better planetary defense systems against such threats might be needed.
For that reason, NASA and ESA, as well as other agencies, are focusing on studying asteroids, besides other missions that they have. NASA and ESA, for their part, collaborate on a defense mechanism based on deflecting asteroids from their paths. NASA’s DART mission will test the method on Didymoon (part of the binary asteroid system Didymos).
Let’s hope that in the future, we will have a defense system against any massive asteroid such as 2019 VF, which might be a threat to our planet and our lives.
Vadim is a passionate writer on various topics but especially on stuff related to health, technology, and science. Therefore, for Great Lakes Ledger, Vadim will cover health and Sci&Tech news.