NASA recently revealed that a giant asteroid measuring 4 kilometers in diameter is approaching earth, and it will make its close flyby on April 29, 2020. The space agency also revealed that the asteroid named 1998 OR2 is currently screeching across space at a speed of 31,320 kph per hour, and during the time of its close approach, it will be almost 3.9 million miles away from the earth.
Will the asteroid hit the earth?
As the NASA report went viral on the internet, several people misinterpreted it and started arguing that the world is going to face a doomsday scenario in April 2020. Some people even went ahead and argued that the coronavirus outbreak has been planned and executed by the US government to distract pubic attention from the doomsday asteroid.
As per these conspiracy theorists, governments all across the world have tried to create panic using Covid-19, as it will make people sit together with their families during their last moments before the asteroid hits us.
However, NASA's Centre for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) reveals that the asteroid will not hit the earth on April 29, 2020. As per the space agency, the asteroid will miss the earth by about 16.36 times the distance between the earth and the moon.
Fact check website Snopes has also debunked the asteroid hit conspiracy theory, and made it clear that all the rumors spreading about the doomsday space rock are hoaxes.
The vitality of a planetary defense weapon
Even though 1998 OR2 will not hit the earth, several space experts including scientists at NASA strongly believe that a killer asteroid will one day hit the earth for sure. According to the scientists, devastating events like asteroid hits are not confined to the past and will happen in the future too.
In order to protect the earth from such a scenario, NASA is currently developing a planetary defense weapon to deflect asteroids from their collision course trajectory. If the plan fails to work, the space agency will be compelled to nuke approaching asteroids, with its own ramifications.