Massive asteroid close to Earth on February 15 (Reports).
United States space agency NASA has spotted a massive, hazardous space rock that might approach the Earth very soon, possibly on February 15.
According to the Express UK, NASA’s asteroid tracker spotted a Near-Earth Object (NEO), named 2002 PZ39, moving towards the Earth at a very high speed, at 57,240 km per hour precisely.
What’s alarming is the estimated size of the asteroid. Scientists have classified it as a Potentially Hazardous Object (PHO) because of its diameter spanning 3,280 feet. The report quoted NASA saying it is bigger than the largest man-made structure in the world.
The report noted that given the PZ39 is classified as a PHO, if it happens to pierce through our atmosphere and collide with the Earth’s surface, it has the potential for destruction on a continental, or global scale.
To put it into perspective, the asteroid that might have led to the extinction of the dinosaurs 66 million years ago from the face of Earth was 10 km in diameter. If this asteroid does hit us, then the impact, which is equivalent to blowing up more than 60 megatons of TNT, may trigger a nuclear winter that can threaten the very existence of living beings.
PZ39 is an Apollo asteroid, which means it intersects the path of our planet quite often while moving around the Sun. Since it traces an Earth-crossing orbit, the chances of a collision remain high every time it moves this way.