The Universe often reminds us in various ways how truly vulnerable our Earth is. We’re all equal in the face of tragedy, as nature doesn’t care about our social status, how much money we have, and so on. Our Universe has extremely destructive phenomenons like supernovae, black holes, quasars, and more. But asteroids can also qualify for being able to destroy a planet if they’re big enough.
NASA brings the news of another asteroid set to reach its closest point towards our planet on September 1. The potentially dangerous asteroid known as 2011 ES4 is the one in question, and it measures about 22 to 49 meters across.
2011 ES4 will successfully miss our planet
The 2011 ES4 asteroid will pass by our planet on September 1 at about 120 thousand kilometers away and at 19.12 Moscow time. Although we are safe from any collision, the asteroid would have caused some significant damage if it hit, considering that it’s hurtling through space at the staggering speed of 8.16 kilometers per second.
As its name suggests, the space rock was discovered in 2011, in March. NASA said previously in a statement:
Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are currently defined based on parameters that measure the asteroid’s potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth. Specifically, all asteroids with a minimum orbit intersection distance (MOID) of 0.05 au or less and an absolute magnitude (H) of 22.0 or less are considered PHAs,
Although space agencies usually do a good job with detecting dangerous asteroids that come too close to Earth, we have plenty of proof that it can happen otherwise as well. The night sky is huge, not to mention our cosmic neighborhood. Although it was only the size of a car, the 2020 QG asteroid was recently detected only several hours after its closest approach to Earth.
NASA is currently working on a way of deflecting dangerous asteroids, and we can expect to see some relevant conclusions soon.