NASA has warned that a massive asteroid larger than a football stadium or twice the size of Big Ben is expected to pass near Earth on November 29.
(Photo: by Ethan Miller / Getty Images)
NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV – APRIL 19: Las Vegas Astronomical Society Vice President of Special Events Keith Caceres uses software connected to his telescope to locate asteroid 2014 JO25 outside the College of Southern Planetarium Nevada on April 19, 2017 in North Las Vegas, Nevada. The nearly one-kilometer-long asteroid travels at 75,000 mph as it passes Earth’s orbit nearly 1.1 million kilometers from Earth, less than five times the distance from Earth to the moon.
NASA’s asteroid tracker predicts that a huge space rock is expected to pass through our home planet’s orbital path on Monday.
The US space agency further announced that the asteroid could be seen in the sky over California, according to the report by SCSthe local Sacramento outlet.
NASA warns an asteroid is bigger than a football field
The passage of an asteroid is slightly larger than an American food field, or 430 feet to be exact.
The huge space rock was first discovered on November 28, 1994 by a NASA astronomer named Carolyn S. Shoemaker via the Palomar Observatory.
The giant space rock, which is twice the size of Big Ben in London, was later given the 1994 nickname WR12.
Note that the 1994 WR12 was listed as “Earth Impact Risk” by the JPL Center for NEO Studies or CNEOS.
However, it was removed from the threat list in 2016 after astronomers learned it was not as dangerous as initially expected.
At the time, NASA astronomers believed that the WR12 could produce a more powerful explosion than the largest nuclear weapon tested here on Earth if it ever hit Earth directly.
But it turns out that astronomers suggest that space rock larger than a football field is far from touching the surface of the Earth. Thus, lowering its threat level.
Instead, the NASA tracker estimates that the asteroid will only pass through Earth’s orbit, which will be 3.8 million kilometers from our home planet, according to LadBible.
That said, humanity is still safe from an asteroid extinction, at least for now. As such, the next passer-by is not a threat at all.
Asteroid seen on the sky of California
On top of that, NASA also predicted that the asteroid could be seen from the skies over California.
However, the director of the Space Technology and Industry Institute, Alan Duffy, has warned residents of California to avoid looking at him when he does show up.
But still, Duffy further admitted that it is difficult not to see an asteroid pass due to its brightness.
Nonetheless, he warned that looking at it directly causes damage to the retina in your eyes. So, Duffy suggested that passers-by make sure they “don’t look at him well.”
Read also: NASA’s DART Kinetic Impactor will change Asteroid’s autonomous in-orbit navigation software to help technology
Passage of an asteroid through the Earth
This is not the first time that an asteroid has passed close to Earth without wreaking havoc on humanity.
In fact, NASA has been tracking several asteroids that are expected to pass in the next two weeks. One of them is as tall as the Eiffel Tower.
Associated article: NASA and SpaceX Fire Earth Defend Rocket to protect against giant asteroids in the future
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Written by Teejay Boris
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