(Image source from: deccanherald.com)
A massive asteroid which is estimated to be between 1,443 feet and 3,248 long is said to pass by the planet Earth on Saturday at around 6:05 am Eastern Time which when converted would be 7:30pm in the local time.
Basing on the size range, it has been reported that it could be anywhere between the size of a suspension bridge to taller than a skyscraper.
However, the experts at the NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies say that the planet Earth is in no danger.
The asteroid is said to pass within 3,590,000 miles of the planet Earth which is said to be 15 times the distance from Earth to the moon, as said by NASA.
The asteroid which is known as 2002 PZ39 has been tracked since it has been discovered in the month of August in the year 2002 and the orbit and the trajectory of the asteroid are well known.
It has been said that the observations of the orbit passing has begun by the Arecibo Observatory in the Puerto Rico on the 11th of February and is said to continue till the 17th of February.
The asteroid 2002 PZ39 has been classified by the Minor Planet Center as the Potentially Hazardous Asteroid, as said by NASA as according to the researches and studies any object larger than 492 feet and which approaches the Earth within 4.6 million miles.
However, the trajectory of the asteroid says that the asteroid should not come any closer to the planet Earth than expected.
It has been said that a few more asteroids within a range of the house to the size of an airplane would also be passing by the planet Earth on the Sunday and Monday and the closest one that has been identified being 1.4 million miles of Earth and it would pass the planet Earth on Monday.
NASA and the other agencies have missions underway in order to study near- Earth asteroids and potentially mitigate the danger of a collision if any. The NASA and the other agencies would be doing so in addition to the tracking Near-Earth Objects which could pose a threat.
It has been said that the main battle is to know the size and orbit of an asteroid as this would enable in the prediction of the Near-Earth Objects.
Ed Lu who is the executive director of the Asteroid Institute and a former NASA astronaut has said that in the coming few years, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will be coming online and it would enable the discovery of the tens of thousands of the asteroids in orbits which could bring them closer to the planet Earth.
"It's an exciting time for planetary defense because we are on the verge of an absolute flood of new observations that will allow us to track 10 times more asteroids than we've ever tracked before," Lu said.
He added saying that the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope would be turning on in a couple of years and its discovery rate is said to be more when compared to all the rest of the telescopes being combined and that it would find around tens of thousands of asteroids and would be able to track them.
A mission called as DART has been planned by the NASA where in DART stands for Double Asteroid Redirection Test. It is said to be a planetary defense test which would prevent an asteroid from hitting Earth and it would have a launch window opening in the month of July in the year 2021.
By Shrithika Kushangi