NASA issues boxing day warning: Asteroid to skim past Earth at 27,447 miles per hour

Several space experts had previously warned that dreaded asteroid impacts are not confined to the past, and it will happen in future

NASA, the United States' space agency, has revealed that a giant asteroid measuring approximately 620 meters in diameter could skim past the earth on December 26, 2019, which happens to be Boxing day. The asteroid named 2000 CH59 is apparently screeching across space at a mind-blowing speed of 27,447 miles per hour, and a possible impact could trigger devastation on a regional level, if not on a global scale.

boxing day asteroid
Representational Image of Boxing Day and an asteroid Pixabay

Asteroid 2000 CH59

This dangerous space rock was discovered by NASA in 2000, and since then, NASA has been closely monitoring the asteroid's trajectory. As per the current analysis, this asteroid will miss earth at a distance of 4,530,666 miles. This distance might be quite large in human terms, but in astronomical terms, it is quite small, as it is just one-twentieth of the distance between Earth and the Sun.

Even though the chances of a collision with the earth can be ruled out at this point of time, some space experts believe that a small change in its current trajectory could increase the likelihood of a possible hit.

Doomsday asteroid hits are quite common

It was around 66 million years ago that a giant doomsday asteroid hit the earth and resulted in the extinction of dinosaurs. However, a recent study conducted by scientists on the Wolfe Creek Crater, a 2,900 feet wide asteroid crater in Western Australia has suggested that asteroids used to batter earth more often than previously thought.

asteroid collision
Asteroid collision NASA

Until this new study, it was believed that the asteroid hit that created Wolfe Creek Crater had happened around 300,000 years ago. But the study suggested that the impact actually happened 120,000 years ago.

In the meantime, Alan Fitzsimmons, a professor at Queens University, Belfast has revealed that another deep asteroid impact from the space is inevitable. However, the researcher made it clear that nature will decide the time of asteroid hit and added that scientists cannot predict the date and time of a possible collision.

This article was first published on December 9, 2019
Related topics : Asteroid Nasa