NASA, the United States space agency is tracking a giant asteroid measuring one kilometre in diameter that is currently heading towards earth. This potential doomsday space rock named, '163373 (2002 PZ39)' is currently screeching across space at a mindblowing speed of 35,500 miles per hour, and if it hits the Earth, the blue planet will face the ultimate catastrophe after the asteroid hit that wiped out dinosaurs.
Asteroid to make close approach tomorrow
The United States space agency revealed that this asteroid will make its close approach with the Earth on February 15, 2020. During its close approach, the asteroid will be almost 3.58 million miles away from the earth. Even though this distance seems so big in human terms, it is a very short distance in astronomical terms, considering the vastness of the universe.
Space experts believe that this asteroid will safely whiz past earth tomorrow, and on August 25, 2034, this asteroid will again visit the blue planet.
If such a space rock hits the earth, it will wipe out millions within a fraction of a second before they could know what had actually happened. A potential hit will also cause damage on a global scale, and it will also trigger earthquakes, tsunamis, and other secondary effects that extend far beyond the immediate impact area.
Can Planetary Defense weapon protect the earth?
As threats from space continue to worry humans, NASA is apparently developing a planetary defense weapon aimed to protect the planet from space bodies like asteroids. The primary purpose of the planetary defense weapon is to nudge space rocks from their original collision course trajectory.
However, when it comes to big asteroids, this trajectory-deflection method will not work, and the only option will be nuking the space rock. But the usage of a nuclear weapon will do more harm than good, as it will result in radioactive rain pouring down to the earth's surface.