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“Killer” asteroid to zoom past Earth today


A fast-approaching asteroid, said to be bigger than any man-made structure, is likely to zoom past Earth at 6:05 am on Saturday, a media report had said while quoting NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) had said.

Considering the size of this space rock, experts believe that a possible collision will kill millions of people in a slit second. Its orbit and trajectory are well known, a media report said.

A kilometre-wide asteroid, said to be ‘potentially hazardous’, is travelling at a speed of 54,717 kmph roughly, according to a report published in IGN. It will be classified as “Potentially Hazardous Asteroid” or PHA.

According to another media report, if this asteroid collides with the Earth, it will kick-off a nuclear winter followed by mass extinction events.

Named as 2002 PZ39, the “harzardous” asteroid is large enough to destroy an entire continent if it hits Earth’s surface, another media reported.

It is said to be taller than the Burj Khalifa tower and hurtling through space at almost 55,000 kilometres per hour, Global News reported while mentioning the CNEOS.

According to a report, “PZ39 is an Apollo asteroid, which means it intersects the path of our planet quite often while moving around the Sun. Since it traces an Earth-crossing orbit, the chances of a collision remain high every time it moves this way.”

Asteroid Watch, a part of NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office, however, said in a tweet that the asteroid “will safely pass Earth at a distance of 5.77 million km (3.59 million miles), about 15 times the distance of the Moon.”

It is expected to pass over our planet from a distance of around 3.6 million miles – that’s like around 58 lakh kilometre roughly.

Knowing the size, shape, mass, composition and structure of these objects helps determine the best way to divert one, should it have an Earth-threatening path.

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