Nasa warns of 'near miss' asteroid passing Earth - and another which could destroy it

Nasa say an asteroid is due to pass two million miles away from Earth on Monday

Nasa warns of 'near miss' asteroid passing Earth - and another which could destroy it.

A giant asteroid is due to whizz past the Earth in the early hours of this morning - as Nasa warns another rock could destroy the planet next century.

The asteroid will make an "Earth Close Approach" today, passing around two million miles away from our planet - that is about eight times the distance to the Moon away.

It may seem a lot, but in space terms that is deemed near - all the more alarming given its whopping size, as big as 460 feet in diameter, which is considered 'potentially hazardous'.

Dubbed 'Asteroid AG3', it measures around twice the wingspan of a Boeing 747 aero plane, reports the Express.

a close up of the moon: More alarmingly than today's asteroid is the prospect of 'apocalypse' rock Bennu hitting earth

A NASA report on asteroid dangers reads: “Larger Near-Earth Objects greater than 140 meters have the potential to inflict severe damage to entire regions or continents.

“Fortunately, these are far less common and are easier to detect and track than smaller Near-Earth Objects."

But perhaps more alarmingly, the US space agency has warned that an 87million tonne 'apocalypse asteroid' could hit the Earth with such force that it would release 80,000 times more energy that the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

a star in the night sky: The stunning image captured shows Earth and the moon (bottom left) in the distance, with Bennu (right)

The stunning image captured shows Earth and the moon (bottom left) in the distance, with Bennu (right)

A probe captured the incredible image of the rock named Bennu - taller than the Empire State Building - which shows the Earth as but a dot away from the asteroid which is over 1,500 times heavier than the Titanic, reports the Mail.

Scientists claim that if it hits Earth, it could potentially destroy the entirety of the human race.

But our generation and our children's generation should be safe, as it is not meant to pass close to the earth until next century, between 2175 and 2199.

It is thought current defence methods would prove ineffective against Bennu

And even when it does come close, it is still a one in 2,700 chance of it hitting planet Earth.

Should the rock defy the odds at hit us, experts say the present-day spacecraft designed by NASA to stop asteroids would probably be ineffective against the sheer might of Bennu.

If scientists launched just one deflector craft to Bennu, it could still take up to seven and a half years to get there.

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Replies to This Discussion

I know you are kidding, SL, yes, these things have happened before. I have memories of the last days of the planet Maldek, which exploded and became the Asteroids Belt between Mars and Jupiter, however Mars was not an option, either, and we ended up on Earth.

Regardless, it may never happen, or we may not wait for it to happen to destroy this Earth, ourselves, but I doubt that Mars could be an option now, since it wasn't before.


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