NASA discovered an asteroid that could hit Earth next year, causing long-term chaos in the planet's climate and deeply affecting the atmosphere. This may sound like a sci-fi movie scenario, but it's actually more real than you think.
The asteroid is officially called "1998 OR2" and has a diameter of about two and a half miles. According to the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, it will fly past our planet around 10 am on 29 April 2020. It is expected to fly about 3.9 million miles from Earth, but a collision caused by attenuating factors is still possible.
Possible Causes for a Collision
One of the causes of a hypothetical collision is the Yarkovsky effect, where the heat exerted by an inner object such as a star can modify the spin of an asteroid and drive it into a deadly collision course our planet.
Another possible factor is the fact that the asteroid could pass a gravitational keyhole in which the gravitational pull is strong enough to alter the trajectory of the asteroid.
The diameter of the asteroid is about as large as New York Central Park and possibly much of London, from Covent Garden to the northern areas of Islington.
Former Republican Congressman and NASA Administrator Jim Brindenstine Warned It's unlikely that a collision will occur in the next century. The possible collision can not be excluded.
"We need to make sure people understand that it's not about Hollywood, it's not about the movies," said Jim Brindenstine.
30-year-old Ben Price from Halifax Nova Scotia loves to share his passion for everything Canadian. In addition to running his own YouTube channel, which uploads weekly videos on groundbreaking new technology, he spends his time rowing. In terms of academics, Ben studied electrical engineering and computer science at Guelph University. Ben reports on science and technology stories here in Great Lakes Ledger.