An Asteroid Twice the Size of the Empire State Building Will Fly Past Earth This Weekend (Video)
On Sept.14 an asteroid the size of some of the world’s tallest buildings will whiz by Earth traveling some 14,361 miles per hour. It will come within 3.3 million miles of our home planet, which actually makes this a “near-Earth object.”
According to LiveScience, the asteroid, named 2000 QW7, is absolutely massive, measuring in at 951 and 2,132 feet in diameter. It’s some 2,716 feet tall, making it only a few feet shorter than the Burj Khalifa, and about twice the height of the Empire State Building.
However, humans really have nothing to fear with this asteroid. As LiveScience noted, it will be traveling far too fast to simply drop into Earth. It will also be 13.87-times the distance between Earth and the moon.
The asteroid also isn’t exactly a stranger to Earth. It too orbits the sun like our planet, LiveScience explained. But the last time it visited Earth was way back in the year 2000. It won’t pass by again until 2038, according to NASA.
Though we don’t need to fret about this particular space rock, Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of Tesla, says we do need to start worrying about others in the future.
In response to the news that NASA is preparing for the asteroid known as Apophis (named after the Egyptian god of Chaos), Musk tweeted: “Great name! Wouldn’t worry about this particular one, but a big rock will hit Earth eventually & we currently have no defense.”
According to Metro, at one point NASA believed the massive rock would hit Earth in the year 2029, however, new calculations showed the object is going to miss the planet, passing within a mere 19,000 miles of us.
“The Apophis close approach in 2029 will be an incredible opportunity for science,” Marina Brozović, a radar scientist at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told The Metro. “We’ll observe the asteroid with both optical and radar telescopes. With radar observations, we might be able to see surface details that are only a few meters in size.”
If Apophis did hit, Metro noted, it would likely wipe out a city the size of London, but the human species would still likely survive. So, at least we have that going for us.