A 190-meter-diameter ASTEROD, whose impact would cause destruction larger than an atomic bomb, is flying towards the Earth and will approach it on December 27.
The approaching asteroid was named 2018 AH and was recorded by NASA’s asteroid tracking system. It should not hit our planet, but will approach it at a distance of 4.5 million kilometers, about 12 times farther than the distance to the Moon, according to the “Jerusalem Post”.
This asteroid has already approached the Earth once, at a much smaller distance. In 2018, it flew at a distance of 296,758 kilometers, which is three quarters of the way from our planet to the Moon. Then he approached unnoticed and astronomers did not see him until he passed by the Earth.
Since then, no larger asteroid has approached Earth, and it is not expected until 2028, when the huge, almost kilometer-long 2001 WN5 should arrive. However, it is not expected that this asteroid will hit our planet, but that it will approach it at 249,000 kilometers.
The approaching asteroid 2018 AH would have great destructive power if it hit the Earth, and scientists compare it to the Tunguska explosion in Russia in 1908, because it is believed that it was caused by an asteroid of similar size.
According to scientists, the explosion of such an asteroid in the air would cause an impact of 12 megatons, which is 800 times more than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
The explosion caused by the asteroid near Tunguska, despite a strong impact, had few victims, it is assumed that there were three of them, although more than 2,000 square kilometers of mostly forest were destroyed, since it was an area that was very sparsely populated at the time.
The shock wave that spread traveled around the entire planet, and the explosion was heard hundreds of kilometers away. Eyewitnesses, tens of kilometers away from the place of the Tunguska explosion, then said that everything looked “as if the sky had parted and fire had appeared from it”.
The Tunguska explosion was the strongest since history is recorded, although there were major events in prehistory.
NASA warns that any asteroid larger than 140 meters in diameter could have catastrophic consequences for the Earth.
That’s why the space agency recently launched the Dart spacecraft on a test mission to divert the orbits of asteroids that pose a potential or real danger to Earth.
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