Is A Massive Asteroid Headed Towards Earth To Destroy It?
Since the past week, there have been rumors circulating of an enormous asteroid, which has a powerful force of three billion nuclear bombs, being on its way to collide with our planet. The asteroid was apparently discovered by Zhao Haibin, an astronomer at China's Purple Mountain Observatory, with the help of the largest telescope in the country, as per reports.
Haibin has stated that technology is helping in identifying probable threats to the solar system. "With the help of our images, astronomers across the globe have a more accurate moving trajectory of the asteroid," said Zhao Haibin. The report also indicated that the asteroid can bring mass destruction in its wake, which can lead to an extinction level catastrophe, leaving behind a toasted planet.
A report has claimed that the asteroid, known as 2009ES because it was first discovered during the mentioned year, measures 10 miles across, making it a gigantic piece of rock. 2009ES is one among the 1,640 near-Earth asteroids that are known as minor bodies. At the moment, the researchers who are of the opinion that the massive asteroid will collide with Earth, are still unsure about where and when it will actually hit our planet. However, photos taken by the 1.2 meter Schmidt telescope camera suggest that the asteroid will pass Earth within 18.8 lunar distances.
The asteroid has been the center of controversy and rumors for quite a long period, and puts up its head every then and now, like the case is at the moment. In fact, the panic generated by the rumors compelled NASA to release a statement in 2015; saying that there was no way the asteroid was going to collide with our planet within a few hundred years. "There is no scientific basis -- not one shred of evidence -- that an asteroid or any other celestial object will impact Earth on those dates," said Paul Chodas, manager of NASA's Near-Earth Object office.
However, in a different discussion concerning NASA's planned Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), which was held earlier this month on September 14, President Obama's chief science adviser, John Holdren, added there is still a lot to do to make our planet less vulnerable to such destructive events. At the moment, researchers are closely observing the movements of the asteroid to see if there are any changes in its trajectory, because that can have a huge impact on our planet due to its enormous size.