Giant asteroids roaming throughout the solar system don’t represent something new at all, but they do make us realize how truly fragile we are. Luckily for us, there’s Jupiter only two planets away, and it acts like a vacuum cleaner of the solar system when it comes to “unwanted guests”.
But surely Jupiter’s huge gravitational pull cannot catch all the asteroids, and one of them is approaching us. It has been called 2002 PZ39, and it’s a real cosmic beast since it measures between 1,443ft and 3,248ft (440m to 990m) and it’s approaching furiously at over 57,000kmph. Luckily, the giant space rock will make a close flyby of our planet this Saturday.
The collision with a giant asteroid is imminent
Even though we are safe for now, most specialists believe that a similar scenario of the one that wiped out the dinosaurs 60 million years ago will repeat itself. When it will, all life on Earth will be extinct, and not even bacteria will survive.
As for the 2002 PZ39 asteroid, it could have caused some significant damage if we were in his trajectory. A spokesman from NASA said:
We believe anything larger than one to two kilometers – one kilometer is a little more than one-half mile – could have worldwide effects,
Thankfully, the 2002 PZ39 asteroid will miss our planet by around the distance of 3.58 million miles (5.77 million km). We should also consider that the “wiseguy” will return 14 years after this. Thus, the asteroid will make another close flyby of the Earth in August 2034.
One hypothesis of getting rid of the asteroid threats for good is colonizing another planet. While it may sound like just a cheap SF movie to most of us, plenty of scientists and astronomers are seriously considering the idea to be feasible in the future. But for the moment, humanity didn’t even lay foot on the closest planet to ours.