NASA reveals about the newfound 2020 SX3 asteroid that it measures between 38 and 86 meters across, which clearly means the potential of causing plenty of damage. The space rock is still highly inferior to the Chicxulub impactor that wiped out the dinosaurs, as the latter measured about 10 km across. But still, 2020 SX3 proves that nature wants to remind us from time to time how vulnerable we are in space.
The new space rock is hurtling towards Earth at incredible speeds: 10.88 kilometers per second, which means 40,000 kilometers per hour.
No need to worry
NASA itself says that we shouldn’t worry about the 2020 SX3 asteroid, as it will successfully pass by our planet at about 1.7 million kilometers. However, the asteroid gets close enough to be considered a near-Earth object (NEO).
An official statement from NASA sheds light for those who aren’t aware of what NEOs are:
NEOs are comets and asteroids that have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth’s neighbourhood.
We must prepare for Apophis
In December 2004, astronomers discovered the Apophis asteroid that measures 370 meters in diameter. There was also a period of concern among scientists after initial observations indicated a probability of up to 2.7% that the space rock would hit Earth on April 13, 2029. As for today, we can be sure that the space rock will pass Earth even closer than geosynchronous communication satellites after nine years, and that means within 31,200 kilometers (19,400 mi) above our planet’s surface.
Scientists are continuing to make significant progress in coming up with methods of dealing with a large asteroid that could cause damage to our planet. The best bet humanity currently has is trying to deflect such a cosmic monster, but hopefully, even new and more efficient methods will emerge.