NASA, the United States space agency has confirmed that an asteroid measuring four kilometres in diameter is currently headed towards earth. Considering its mammoth size, this asteroid can be considered as a doomsday space rock, and if it hits the earth, it could trigger devastation on a global scale.

What will happen if this asteroid hits the earth?

Representative image of asteroid above an ocean Mr Scientific YouTube

NASA has named the asteroid 1998 OR2 and it is now screeching across space at a speed of 31,320 kilometres per hour. If an asteroid with such a giant size and speed hits the earth, it could unveil energy equivalent to the explosion of hundreds of thousands of nuclear bombs. A probable collision will also kill millions of people in a fraction of a second before they actually know what had happened.

The asteroid impact will also wipe out human beings from the surface of the planet. Space experts believe that cockroaches, certain sea creatures and other living beings that feed on dead meat will survive this dreaded impact from deep space.

Will asteroid 1998 OR2 hit the earth?

As per the current analysis, asteroid 1998 OR2 will make its close approach with the earth on April 29, 2020. At the time of its closest approach, this asteroid will be almost 3.9 million miles away from the earth, which means the chances of a potential collision are pretty less.

In other words, this asteroid will miss the earth by about 16.36 times the distance between the earth and the moon. In the meantime, NASA is currently busy developing a planetary defence weapon aimed to deflect approaching asteroids from its original trajectory.

However, in the case of giant asteroids like 1998 OR2, the space agency will be compelled to use nuclear weapons to blow them up. Several space experts believe that a pre-emptive nuclear strike could be the best option to combat asteroids which are too mighty.