2016 NF23 space rock is considered a “potentially hazardous” asteroid and is heading towards Earth, as we speak, and it is huge as, according to NASA, it measures about 160 meters. The big asteroid is flying towards us at a velocity of 20,000 miles per hour.
Luckily, the space rock will whizz by Earth at a distance of approximately 3 million miles, on August 29th, so there is no danger this asteroid would hit us. But, in case it would collide with our planet, 2016 NF23 “potentially hazardous” asteroid could wipe out an entire country and leave behind millions of victims, not to mention the post-impact effects and the additional damages and casualties those would imply.
However, we should not fear huge asteroids as the world’s space agencies keep track of those space rocks firmly. But, according to astronomers, small-sized space rocks that could wipe out a small town are harder to detect and trace.
“Potentially hazardous” asteroid 2016 NF23 will pass next to us, but many other undetectable space rocks could hit Earth, and we don’t even know about them
According to NASA readings, there are about 4,300 asteroids, sized from 100 meters to approximately 1 km, which fly in the Earth’s vicinity. These, however, are those space rocks the space agencies around the globe know about.
But, a recent ESA report stated that, in reality, the astronomers only identified 1 in 100 asteroids of a size between 100 meters and 1 km. That would mean that there are approximately 430,000 “potentially hazardous” space rocks that could get close to the Earth. Furthermore, there would be even more small-sized asteroids, smaller than 100 meters, that remain undetected and which could also cause a lot of damage if hit Earth.
Well, the history has some excellent examples in this regard. In 1908, for instance, a 40-meter-wide asteroid hit in Tunguska, Siberia, destroying a forest area as big as a metropolis. More recently, in 2013, another space rock hit Russia in the city of Chelyabinsk injuring 1,500 people and causing massive damages to the buildings in the area of impact and vicinity.