NASA is tracking an asteroid that is hurtling towards the earth. The space rock dubbed 2015 BK509 is 656ft wide, and is currently screeching across space at a speed of 44,964 kmph. NASA trackers predict that the asteroid will make its close encounter on Saturday, February 29.
Will asteroid BK509 hit the earth?
As per current calculations, the asteroid will not hit the blue planet. At the closest approach, the asteroid will be almost 7.16 million kilometers away from the earth. However, NASA has classified the asteroid as a near-earth object considering the distance which may seem quite long in human terms, but a short distance in the context of the vastness of the universe.
NASA considers all asteroids that come within 1.3 astronomical units of the sun as a near-earth objects. At the time of its close approach, asteroid BK509 will be 0.04792 astronomical units away, and this single factor makes it a dangerous space rock that may bring devastation on earth one day or the other if its trajectory changes.
Will a doomsday asteroid hit the earth?
There are hundreds of thousands of asteroids, both big and small lurking in the solar system. One such asteroid that was very huge hit the earth around 66 million years ago resulting in a mass extinction event. That asteroid hit was so devastating that it wiped out more than 70 per cent of all species on the earth, including dinosaurs.
However, since then, no such space rocks have approached the earth, but several space experts including Dr Iain McDonald believe that possibilities of a doomsday asteroid hit in the future cannot be ruled out. As per Iain McDonald, dreaded events like asteroid hits are not confined to the past, and they will happen in the future too. Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson also believes that the earth will face a catastrophic scenario if a doomsday asteroid hits the planet.