1,600-Feet Asteroid, Bigger Than Most Buildings, Heading Towards Earth

Asteroid 388945 will pass us from a distance of about 2.5 million miles away.

Space scientists have warned that a huge asteroid is heading towards the Earth. According to the American space agency NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), which is monitoring it, the giant space rock Asteroid 388945 (2008 TZ3) will make a close approach to our planet at 2.48am on May 16.

NASA further said that the asteroid is 1,608 feet wide. In comparison, New York’s iconic Empire State building stands at 1,454 feet. It is also bigger than the Eiffel Tower and dwarf the Statue of Liberty too.

The space rock can cause huge damage if it hits the Earth. But space scientists’ calculations say it will pass us from a distance of about 2.5 million miles away.

Though it may sound a huge distance, in space terms it is not. And that is why, NASA has flagged this as “close approach”.

This is not the first time that Asteroid 388945 has paid us a visit. It passed very close to Earth in May 2020 – at a distance of 1.7 million miles.

This space rock routinely passes the Earth – every two years, according to space scientists – while orbiting the Sun.

The next time it will pass close to the Earth in May 2024 but much farther – 6.9 million miles.

The asteroid will again come as close as this time in May 2163.

If an asteroid comes within 4.65 million miles and is over a certain size, it’s considered “potentially hazardous” by selective space agencies.

Asteroids are space debris, the remains of a planet, that keep rotating in the vast, infinite space. Scientists have warned for decades that some huge space rocks are dangerous for Earth.

So, many space agencies, including NASA, are devising a plan to defend the Earth from these potentially dangerous asteroids. As a part of this plan, NASA recently launched its Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission.

It aims to deflect an asteroid heading towards Earth from its path “through kinetic impact”. This means that the DART craft will collide with the asteroid with an aim to move it off course.

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