NASA has warned an asteroid the size of Nelson’s Column is in danger of colliding with Earth three years from now. Due the asteroid’s size and trajectory, Earth’s atmosphere may be unable to stop the space rock from causing an impact event.
NASA asteroid trackers have dubbed the potenially dangerous asteroid as 2005 ED224.
The space rock has been listed in NASA’s Sentry Earth impact monitoring database.
Through this system, the US-based space agency is able to keep track of all known asteroids possessing even a slim chance of Earth collisions.
According to the data collected by Sentry on 2005 ED224, this asteroid could be travelling at an average speed of approximate 61,000mph (98,300kmh).
The system also notes the asteroid measures about 177ft (54m) across.
As a member of the Apollo family of asteroids, 2005 ED224 follows a very dangerous orbit.
As this asteroid orbits the Sun, the space rock occasionally crosses Earth’s path.
Based on NASAs calculations relating to 2005 ED224’s orbit and trajectory, the system detected a total of five potential Earth impacts caused by the asteroid.
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According to Sentry, the asteroid’s earliest possible impact could occur on March 11, 2023.
Usually, asteroids the size of 2005 ED224 incinerate or explode shortly upon entering Earth’s atmosphere.
However, if 2005 ED224 is able to maintain its incredible speed, the asteroid has the potential to successfully go through the atmosphere and cause an impact event on the ground.
Were this kind of event to occur, the asteroid would create a crater almost 1,000 metres wide.
The resulting level of energy released from the asteroid’s impact would be powerful enough to destroy a large area such as a town or small city.
Should 2005 ED224 misses Earth in 2023 as expected, the asteroid still has other chances to collide with the planet in the future.
According to the information collected by Sentry, the asteroid’s five potential Earth impacts could happen in 2023, 2028, 2029, 2030 and 2064.
These possible impacts could be caused by several factors in space that can significantly affect an asteroid’s trajectory.
Several top space experts including popular American physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson had previously warned that the end of the Earth could happen due to a deadly asteroid collision.
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