What would we do if our precious planet gets hit by a big asteroid? While many researchers are trying to find solutions for such a grim scenario, the truth is that it’s almost inevitable. The sky is huge, the Universe is incomprehensibly big, and therefore you may never know when a tremendous danger is lurking in the shadows.
NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) detected not one, but three space rocks that will approach our planet in several days. The biggest asteroid is 2020 FH, with a diameter of about 118 feet. This means it’s big enough to cause some significant damage if it hits Earth.
No reasons to worry
The 2020 FH asteroid will be 1.4 million miles away from the planet’s surface. The second biggest asteroid is 2020 FG, which is estimated to measure about 52 feet in diameter. This not so little ‘wise guy’ will approach Earth at a much shorter distance: about 0.00367 astronomical units, which means around 341,000 miles away.
Last but not least, the 2020 EF asteroid is 102 feet in diameter, which also means that it’s large enough to cause some great damages if it hits our planet. But luckily for us, it will approach only at 0.04239 astronomical units, or around 3.9 million miles from our planet’s center.
An asteroid killed the dinosaurs
Thankfully, we are safe for now, but a similar scenario to the one that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs could repeat itself someday. About 60 million years ago, our Earth was hit by a huge asteroid in today’s Yucatan peninsula from Mexico. Besides the devastating hit, tons of ashes were raised up in the air and blocking sunlight for hundreds of years. Without sunlight, plants couldn’t produce oxygen anymore for the huge reptiles to breathe. The outcome was imminent: all life forms died.
It happened before, and it can happen again. But hopefully, humanity will be technologically prepared until that day to be able to deflect or destroy any ‘unwanted guest’ from outer space.