A huge asteroid is heading towards Earth. But you probably don’t have to worry.
At least that’s what NASA reported. The US Space Agency has been observing asteroid 388945 (2008 TZ3) for some time. According to the calculations of astronomers, it should come close to Earth in a few days.
Asteroid 388945 (2008 TZ3) has a height of 490 meters. This is much more than the 324-meter Eiffel Tower, for example. The impact of such a large celestial body on Earth could cause massive damage. However, one must consider the meaning of convergence in a cosmic context.
Because in a few days 388,945 (2008 TZ3) will fly close to our planet at a speed of more than 11,000 kilometers per hour. However, in this case, the density translates to a distance of more than nine million kilometers. Strictly speaking, it is up to 9012,326 kilometers. Fortunately, there will be no collision. There were much closer encounters. Just a few weeks ago, asteroid 418135 (2008 AG33) passed “only” 3.2 million km from Earth.
asteroid defense system
For NASA, these distances are already considered “approximate”. Therefore, the corresponding asteroids are monitored very accurately. It could actually reach a dangerous path at some point. Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and a rocket enthusiast, warned about this in a tweet on Twitter two years ago. “Eventually a giant boulder will hit Earth and we don’t have defenses at the moment,” Musk wrote in August 2019.
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However, NASA is already working on a defense system. Under the name Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), the goal is to test how much an asteroid’s path can be altered by a projectile. Next September, DART will first be tested on the small asteroid Dimorphos.
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