A massive asteroid with a size that is on par with that of the Egyptian pyramids will make a close approach to Earth on Friday. The massive rock was spotted by astronomers last week.
Classified as 2019 WR3, the asteroid has been observed strictly by NASA since it was identified on November 27, and the space agency harnessed collected data to calculate a variety of factors, among which we can count the speed at which it travels, size, current trajectory and present threat level.
It is estimated that the asteroid has a length ranging between 76 and 170 meters (or 249 to 557 feet). The speed at which it travels is quite high as it reaches a peak velocity of 27,036 kilometers per hour (or 16,779 miles per hour).
Any asteroid that is larger than 25 meters across can withstand the harsh forces that usually damage everything that enters the atmosphere. It can crash on the surface, a scenario that can be quite grim if the destination is a populated area.
A massive asteroid will pass by Earth on Friday
There is no need to worry at this point since the asteroid will pass by us at a distance up to 14 times bigger than the one between Earth and the Moon.
Several space agencies are hard at work on the creation of effective countermeasures against asteroids and other objects that could crash into Earth at some point in the future. Even small objects can wreak havoc.
For example, the Chelyabinsk event that took place in 2013 showed what happens if a superbolide meteor exploded above a populated area. While the meteor was quite small at 20 meters, it managed to damage over 7,200 buildings as roofs fell, and windows were shattered.
Many people got hurt as they were scared by the explosion and tried to hide. The first defense system will be tested after 2020, but they seem to be quite promising.