A gigantic asteroid, 2019 AV13, was zooming towards the Earth, according to NASA. This dangerous asteroid has just flown past our Earth, missing it narrowly.
The amazing luck of Earth continues! Despite the onslaught of multiple asteroids over the last two weeks, our planet has miraculously escaped every single one of them. But perhaps the biggest feat is avoiding the city-killer asteroid that was expected to make its closest approach today, according to NASA. This 420-foot wide asteroid could have spelled a major disaster for us, had it struck the planet. At its size, it was capable of flattening at least the radius of a few kilometers of area and dealing additional damage through shockwaves, earthquakes and tsunamis. But it might be a little too early to celebrate. Read on to know why.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a department of NASA, has provided more information about this giant asteroid. According to it, this asteroid was first spotted in 2019 and was named 2019 AV13. At a size of 420-foot or 128-meters, it came as close as 5.2 million kilometers to the Earth. But luckily, it did not deviate towards our planet and made a safe passage away from the planet. Now, this asteroid is moving towards Mars and will cross its orbit to reach its aphelion (farthest point from the Sun).
A 420-foot wide asteroid misses striking the Earth
Due to its size and closeness to the Earth, this asteroid was termed as a near-Earth object or NEO. This means that this asteroid has a real (albeit very small) chance of striking the Earth in future. If this asteroid did strike the planet, a major catastrophe could have been caused. And that is why NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) has been constantly monitoring the space rock. And now that it has gone past the Earth’s neighborhood, we can finally heave a sigh of relief, right? Not really.
It turns out another asteroid bombardment is just two days away. On August 22, three asteroids will be heading towards our planet. The trio contains a 44-foot wide asteroid named 2015 QH3, a 61-foot wide asteroid named 2022 QM and the biggest among them, a 92-foot wide asteroid QW3. Whether any of them can pose a threat to the Earth, only time will tell.