Asteroids the size of cars aren’t dangerous enough to produce another species extinction, indeed, but you still wouldn’t want them anywhere near your backyard. The moniker ‘2021 GW4’ may not say much to you, but for astronomers, it’s the name of a new asteroid that passed by our planet today, April 12.
Space.com writes about the new asteroid in question, and luckily enough, there are no reasons to worry about the space rock. The asteroid measures only 4 meters across, meaning that it’s way too small to survive until it would hit the ground – the air friction would disintegrate the space rock completely.
Less than one-tenth of the distance that separates us from the Moon
At its closest approach at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT), the space rock was located at only 26,200 kilometres from Earth. The distance between our planet and the Moon is 284,000 kilometres.
Our website has recently written about an innovative plan of NASA to deal with highly-dangerous asteroids in the future. Such space rocks hitting our planet during the next century are highly improbable, but you never know for sure what dangers lurk into the shadows of the unimaginably huge Universe that we live in. That’s where the DART mission spacecraft will enter the scene in July 2021, meaning the Double Asteroid Redirection Test. The spacecraft will try to change the trajectory of an asteroid by simply bumping into it. We’re talking about a mission co-developed by NASA and the Applied Physics Laboratory from Hopkins University.
Andy Rivkin, the team leader of the DART investigation, declared:
Up until now, we haven’t had too many options for what we might do if we found something that was incoming.
He also said:
DART is the first test of how we might be able to deflect something without having to resort to a nuclear package – or sitting in our basements, waiting it out and crossing our fingers.