Asteroids come near our planet very often, but are we prepared for when a huge one aims directly at us? It’s only a matter of time until that grim scenario becomes a reality, considering that it already happened at least once during the dinosaur era.
We have to be honest and say that 2020 was bad overall, as we can describe it through one single word: pandemic. But 2021 could even be worse, and it brings an asteroid the size of two football fields towards our beloved planet. But luckily for us, the New Year will have to do a lot better than that if it wants to end the world.
Greetings to 2003 AF23
The 2019 YB4 asteroid measures 15 meters wide, and it will safely miss our planet by 6.4 million kilometres on January 2nd. One day after, two more chunks of cosmic debris will follow the asteroid: the 2020 YA1 that measures about 15 meters and the 2020 YP4 that measures around 21 meters. Both will pass by at a minimum distance of 1.5 million kilometres.
However, the 2003 AF23 asteroid will be the star of the show, as it measures 220 meters in diameter and will arrive in our cosmic vicinity on January 3rd.
No reason to worry
The 2003 AF23 asteroid will safely miss our planet by 6.9 million kilometres, meaning that we should worry more about anything else. Furthermore, NASA seems to do a pretty good job while tracking the sky for Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), although eliminating any risk of impact with a dangerous asteroid is impossible.
We’re all safe for now, but we must never forget that the Universe is always capable of telling us ‘Happy New Year!’ in a very unpolite way.