Considering the fact that NASA is has discovered somewhere in the neighborhood of 19,000 near-Earth objects (NEOs), known to laymen as asteroids and comets, is it any wonder that some day one of them is probably going to eventually hit our planet, causing unimaginable devastation?
Not that a giant asteroid striking Earth is about to take place, say, this week, but I’m not saying it won’t won’t happen. At least based on a new report about a space rock named Asteroid 2018 AL12, published by the Daily Express
The International Astronomical Union Minor Planet Center has Asteroid 2018 AL12 making its run at Earth this week at a Lunar Distance (the average distance from the center of Earth to the center of the Moon) of just 18.15 (4.3 million miles) – which is a pretty small distance when talking about space.
Asteroid 2018 AL12 is no small space rock either. It’s diameter is calculated to be anywhere from 21 to 65 meters (68 to 213 feet) around.
Combine that size with a speed of a speed of of nearly 40,000 MPH (or around 11 miles per second), and it is certainly not an asteroid to be trifled with, which explains why NASA is keeping a sharp eye on it.
Spacereference.org states, “2018 AL12 orbits the sun every 736 days (2.02 years), coming as close as 0.60 AU and reaching as far as 2.59 AU from the sun” and says the asteroid is somewhere around the size of a school bus.
NASA claims the likelihood of Asteroid 2018 AL12 slamming into Earth is very slim (unlike these 10 dates when Apophis, the “Colossal God of Chaos” asteroid, could blow a hole in our planet).
NASA has also stated that “every day, 80 to 100 tons of material falls upon Earth from space in the form of dust and small meteorites (fragments of asteroids that disintegrate in Earth’s atmosphere).”
Experts estimate that an impact of an object the size of the one that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, in 2013 – approximately 55 feet (17 meters) in size – takes place once or twice a century. Impacts of larger objects are expected to be far less frequent (on the scale of centuries to millennia). However, given the current incompleteness of the NEO catalogue, an unpredicted impact – such as the Chelyabinsk event – could occur at any time.
Any time, people. Any time.
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