Set the Date: On May 6, 2022, the sinking of the Earth could emanate from a huge, continental flattening asteroid.
Yeah, I know you're screwing your eyes – another day, another killer asteroid. You'll probably think, "This is just a paranoid riffraff."
Well … that's it really. However, there is indeed a dangerous lump of space rock approaching us, and there is a (weird) little chance that it will devastate our planet.
Let me introduce you to JF1. He is clunky, dangerous and one believes best that he is coming.
NASA first discovered the asteroid in 2009. During the last decade, the Space Agency's automatic asteroid observation system ̵
It has been termed the Near Earth Object (NEO) and is a "threat" to our planet.
A NASA spokesman said:
Some asteroids and comets follow orbits They bring them much closer to the sun and thus to the earth than usual. When the approach of a comet or asteroid is 1.3 astronomical units from the Sun, it is called a near-Earth object.
One astronomical unit is about 150 million kilometers – so it's not close. What's scary is how big it is – experts report that JF1 has a diameter of about 130 meters, which could add that it is about the same size as the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.
When JF1 lands, it would collide with the Giza force of 230 kilotons of TNT. To put this into context, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 exploded with a force of 15 kilotons of TNT.
A 2018 White House report on the dangers of asteroid impact explained:
Larger NEOs larger than 140 meters may severely damage entire regions or continents. Such objects would hit Earth with a minimum energy of over 60 megatons of TNT, which is more than the most powerful nuclear device ever tested. Fortunately, these are far less common and easier to spot and track than smaller NEOs.
NASA added that Sentry "continuously searches the latest asteroid catalog for possible future effects on Earth over the next 100 years." Another asteroid is logged for 2880 due to impact (no typo).
But do not worry too much. NASA estimates the probability that JF1 will actually hit us at 0.026%, so there is a greater than 99% probability that this will not be the case. I doubt Paddy Power will let me put a tenth.