Not Apophis, another asteroid measuring 4.1-km heading towards earth; impact could set off nuclear winter

This doomsday asteroid that could wipe out humans from the earth is currently barrelling at a speed of more than 32,000 kilometers per hour

asteroid approaching earth
Representational image of asteroid hitting earth causing doomsday Pixabay

It has been previously reported that asteroid Apophis that could make a close approach with the earth in 2029 may cause a doomsday scenario on earth. However, in 2020, nine years before the arrival of Apophis, another giant asteroid apparently measuring 4.1 kilometers in diameter will make its close approach, and if it collides with the earth, it may result in the extinction of human beings from the planet's surface.

NASA's Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) revealed that this huge, possibly doomsday asteroid is expected to fly past Earth on April 29, 2020. During this close flyby, this asteroid will be almost 6.3 million kilometers from the earth. Even though this distance seems so huge in human terms, it is a very short distance considering the vastness of the universe.

NASA has revealed that this asteroid named 52768 (1998 OR2) is a member of the Amor family, and it has a very wide orbit around the earth and the sun. During its close approach, several factors could elevate the chances of this space body hitting the earth, and one among them is the very crucial gravitational keyhole. It should be noted that the gravitational keyhole is a particular area in the space where rogue bodies like asteroids get affected by the gravitational pull of nearby planets.

As per NASA's latest analysis, the asteroid is barrelling in the space at a speed of almost 32,000 kilometers per hour, and if this rogue body hits the earth's surface at this velocity, it could create a crater which will be at least 50 kilometers wide. The asteroid impact could also result in devastation triggered on a global scale, and millions of people will die within a fraction of second.

After a few minutes of the impact, the dust generated by the hit will cover the entire atmosphere, and a scenario very similar to a nuclear winter will happen on the blue planet. Sun's rays will fail to reach the earth's surface, and gradually all the plants on the planet will die. As plants perish, the entire living cycle in the earth will get shattered, and finally, only some marine animals, cockroaches and other creatures who feed on dead meat will remain on the planet.

Related topics : Asteroid