NASA Spots Planet-Killer Asteroid That Is Fast Approaching Earth
NASA has classified the asteroid as a Potentially Hazardous Object or PHO
NASA has spotted an asteroid that is fast approaching Earth and could have catastrophic effects if it collides with the planet. According to Express reports, NASA’s asteroid trackers have tracked an asteroid that is fast making its way towards the Earth’s orbit.
The 2002 PZ39 asteroid is classified as a Near-Earth Object (NEO). However, as the asteroid is estimated to be around 3,280 feet in diameter, NASA has marked it as a Potentially Hazardous Object (PHO). According to reports, PZ39 will make it to the Earth towards the end of the weekend at the speed of 35, 500 miles per hour. By this estimate, it should approach Earth on February 15.
PHOs have the capacity to destroy whole continents based on their size. Since PZ39 has been classified as a PHO, it is a troublesome thought to imagine the level of destruction it could bring forth if it collided with the Earth. NASA has predicted that the asteroid would get to 0.03860 astronomical units from the Earth. This is equivalent to 5.77 million kilometers away.
“Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are currently defined based on parameters that measure the asteroid’s potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth,” NASA explained in a statement.
According to CNEOS, 163373 (2002 PZ39) is an Apollo asteroid, which means it is known to intersect Earth’s path around the Sun from time to time. If the asteroid collides with Earth, it can cause a major impact event. If PZ39 hits the planet it could result in a catastrophic event that can kill off millions.