Giant asteroid to make closest approach with earth today, warns NASA

A screen grab from YouTube video

NASA has warned that a giant asteroid measuring three times the length of a double-decker bus will make its close approach with earth on Tuesday, October 30, 2018. The asteroid dubbed 2018 UC measures somewhere between 17 and 37 meters which make it a very formidable object. As per experts, any space bodies measuring more than 20 meters could be dangerous if it goes undetected.

It should be noted that the Chelyabinsk meteor that exploded over Russia in 2013 was of a similar size as the 2018 UC, and its unexpected explosion has resulted in widespread casualties.

However, NASA makes it clear that the chances of 2018 UC entering the earth's atmosphere are pretty low. As per the current trajectory, this gigantic asteroid will skim past the earth at a distance five times further than the moon. In its course, the asteroid will be traveling at a speed of more than 18 kilometers per second.

Experts in NASA speculate that 2018 UC will come within 0.01381 astronomical units at its closest approach. As per the cosmic measurement scale, one astronomical unit is the distance between the sun and the earth, and it is touted to be around 149.6 million kilometers. NASA revealed that in its closest approach, Asteroid 2018 UC will fly at a distance of 2.06 million kilometers from the earth, and it will not pose any kind of threat to the planet.

Even though it will not pose a threat to the earth, experts consider this flyby as a close approach. In cosmic standards, any object which comes within 7.47 million kilometers is making a close approach. NASA added that 7.47 million kilometers will be quite huge in human terms, but in the Universe which extends to hundreds of millions of kilometers, this distance is very small.

In the meantime, it has been reported that a weird asteroid which looks like a human skull will once again make a close flyby in upcoming November. It was on October 31, 2015, that this skull-shaped asteroid initially made a close flyby when it hurtled past earth a distance of just 4,80,000 kilometers from the earth.

This article was first published on October 30, 2018
Related topics : Asteroid