‘Potentially hazardous asteroid’ to fly past Earth on Feb 4
The asteroid called 2002 AJ129 is 1.1-km wide and will go pass Earth at a distance of around 4,208,641km away.science Updated: Jan 18, 2018 17:16 IST
A “potentially hazardous asteroid” will go past Earth on February 4, but there’s little chance that it will hit the planet, say astronomers.
The asteroid called 2002 AJ129 is 1.1-km wide and will go pass Earth at a distance of around 4,208,641km away--relatively close in space terms, according to Daily Mail. For comparision, the distance between the Earth and the moon is 384,400 km. NASA labels asteroids as ‘hazardous’ if they come within 7,403,00km of the planet.
2002 AJ129 is the largest space rock to brush past Earth this year and research has found that an object of that size could plunge Earth into a mini-ice age if it hit, according to the Mail. The impact would cause average temperatures around the world to fall by as much as 8°C, according to a 2016 study on the effects of a collision with a 1-km wide asteroid.
A meteoroid is a small chunk of asteroid or comet. The biggest meteor hit in modern history--the 1908 explosion over Tunguska , Russia, flattened 2,100 square km of forest. Around 65 million years ago when a 10-km wide asteroid that caused 70% of life on Earth to go extinct, including many dinosaurs.