A giant space rock apparently measuring 200 meters in diameter is expected to skim past earth in the next few hours. The asteroid named 2009 BH2 is now apparently screeching at the speed of 40,130 miles per hour, and it will make its close approach with the earth on January 18, 2019, at 07.29 am EST.
Asteroid 2009 BH2: The rogue body
It was on January 17, 2009, that NASA initially discovered this asteroid. The United States space agency has classified this asteroid as a near-earth object which means this space rock has the potential to pose a threat to the earth in the future.
During the time of its close approach, asteroid 2009 BH2 will be 3.48 million miles away from the earth. Even though this distance is huge in human terms, it is a very short distance in astronomical terms. Scientists believe that this asteroid will not hit the earth and will whiz past the blue planet safely.
However, a small change in the asteroid's trajectory may cause a mid-air explosion, and if it happens, it could unleash energy equivalent to thousands of atom bombs. If the asteroid hits a populated area, it could be absolutely catastrophic, and it could result in the death of millions of people.
NASA's planetary defence weapon holds the key
As space experts strongly predict the possibility of an asteroid hit in the future, NASA is now busy developing a planetary defence weapon, aimed to protect the planet from a deep space impact.
The primary purpose of this defence weapon is to nudge an approaching asteroid from its original trajectory so that these space rocks will skim past earth safely. However, this weapon may not work well with giant asteroids, and certain space experts believe that nuking space bodies is the only way to protect the earth if giant bodies approach the blue planet.