Donald Trump is only a few days away from its replacement with Joe Biden for the presidential stool, and it seems like someone or something beyond our atmosphere may not be liking the news at all. An asteroid larger than the Empire State building is heading our way, as the Newsweek publication writes.
The asteroid in question is dubbed 65717 (1993 BX3), and it flew past our planet on January 17, at 3:49 a.m. ET. It means we’re safe and sound for now, meaning that we should worry more about anything else. Joe Biden will be inaugurated as the new President of the United States in only two days, on January 20.
Diameter of up to 1,345 feet
The 1,345 feet asteroid was first spotted almost three decades ago: in 1992. The lucky scientist who discovered the space rock is the Scottish-Australian astronomer Robert H. McNaught.
Getting anywhere near the space rock is a suicide, as the asteroid travels through space at about 8,000 miles per hour. Data from CNEOS (the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies from NASA) shows that 1993 BX3 successfully missed us by about 4.4 million miles, meaning the equivalent of 18 times the average distance between our planet and the Moon.
Paul Chodas, the director of CNEOS, declared:
By continually searching for asteroids, we expect to eventually find the majority of the hundred-meter-scale asteroids over time, as each happens to pass by our planet many years or decades before a possible potential impact.
As you’ve probably already guessed until now, the 1993 BX3 asteroid falls into the category of Near-Earth Objects (NEO). As NASA declared on its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) website:
NEOs are comets and asteroids that have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth’s neighbourhood.
At a diameter of 1,345 feet, the asteroid wouldn’t have been exterminated all life forms from Earth if it hit. But you would still definitely not be willing to receive the space rock nowhere near your city.