NASA released information about a massive asteroid getting closer to Earth this week. Scientists identified the space object by collecting the data from the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS). The asteroid, dubbed 2019 WR3, measures almost 525 feet and is currently traveling at speeds of around 17,000 miles per hour, according to CNEOS.
It is compared to the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt or the Statue of Liberty in New York. Asteroid 2019 WR3 was listed as an Apollo asteroid, which follows an orbit around the planets of the Solar System. Sometimes, the asteroid’s track crosses Earth’s orbit since the planet drifts around the Sun.
2019 WR3 passed last time Earth’s orbit in April 2017, getting closer from a distance of about 0.45904 astronomical units. This time, however, it will be approaching our planet at a range of 0.03638 astronomical units, much closer than before. CNEOS reports that the event will occur on December 6 at 3:52 pm EST.
NASA Alerts Us of Asteroid Capable of Producing Massive Impact
The factors which could change asteroid’s trajectory are the heat from the Sun and the gravity. For example, if one part of the asteroid heats by sunlight, it could result in an action of spinning. Also, if the asteroid passes near planets with more significant cosmic bodies, they would get eventually affected by their powerful gravitational pull.
WR3 could bring a lot of destruction, given its speed and dimension. Its energy would clear out an entire city, and its nearby areas. As NASA details, the trajectory of a space object is calculated by observing the measurements of its placement as it flies across the sky. It also needs a comparison to some computer versions of its orbit around the Sun.
In the case of WR3, scientists have developed an extensive 74 examinations to decide its path through the inner solar system.