NASA said an enormous asteroid will swoosh past our planet on 25 November at a breakneck speed of 38,000 miles per hour, which is 63 times faster than a Boeing 737 and 25 times faster than a F-22 Raptor jet. The space agency said that the celestial body, which the space agency called 2019 VF1, because it was discovered this year, is 492 feet and will skirt Earth at 4 a.m. UK time.
NASA has categorised this big guy as a near-Earth object – a celestial body whose orbit brings it close to the Earth – but scientists say 2019VF1 doesn’t pose any danger to us as it will be 13 times farther from the Earth than the Moon.
Asteroids regularly approach our planet and sometimes space agencies fail to detect them. Another “significant” meeting with a celestial object is expected on Boxing Day, or the day after Christmas. NASA called 310442 (2000 CH59), which is the size of the tallest building in the world, potentially hazardous as its orbit occasionally intersects with that of the Earth.
In another development, NASA instructor and flight controller Robert Frost warned that “nothing” can be done if a colossal asteroid is on a collision course with our planet. Frost said there are two options to prevent an asteroid strike – destroying it or deflecting its trajectory – however humanity doesn’t have the means yet to do either.