An asteroid estimated to be around the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza may hit the Earth on May 6, 2022, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Despite the one in 3,800 odds — a measly 0.026% chance — of the asteroid smashing into the Earth, the worst-case scenario will surely be of a scene akin to the climax of an apocalypse movie, or even worse, as per NASA via The Daily Express on Nov. 16.
NASA have released details of an asteroid, known as JF1, that is heading towards Earth. The rock, a whopping 420ft across, is predicted to collide with the planet on May 6, 2022, with devastating consequences. The American space agency have said that if the asteroid continues on its current trajectory, it could strike with a force of 230 kilotons (230,000 tonnes of TNT).
If the “city-killer” asteroid, labeled JF1, is to hit Earth, the impact would be equivalent to the detonation of 230 kilotons of TNT. That is 15 times stronger than the atomic bomb that hit Hiroshima in 1945, which destroyed the whole city with 15 kilotons of force.
Even if the asteroid was to avoid civilization and hit “the remotest part of the Pacific Ocean,” the impact would still be powerful enough to cause devastating tsunamis and “nuclear winter,” the report said.
Scientists estimate the massive asteroid to be around a whopping 420 feet across, or around 130 meters in diameter.
As a result, the asteroid has been flagged for close attention by their near-Earth monitoring system, Sentry.
NASA said: “Sentry is a highly automated collision monitoring system that continually scans the most current asteroid catalogue for possibilities of future impact with Earth over the next 100 years.”
The space agency also said the probability of the rock colliding with East is low.
Nasa believes there is a one in 3,800 odds the asteroid will hit Earth on the expected date of May 6, 2022.
That translates into a 0.026% chance of an and a greater than 99% chance it will miss Earth.
They said there is a “small but appreciable chance” the JF1 could strike the planet.
But because of the sheer size of the asteroid, which is roughly the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza, it will continue to be monitored.
Due the danger posed by a future collision, space agencies around the world are developing ways to avert a possible extinction event.
Researchers and spacecraft engineers from across Europe and the US are working on a mission to “deflect” a space rock and “prove the technique as a viable method of planetary defence”.
This mission is called the Asteroid Impact Deflection Assessment (AIDA) and will attempt to redirect the smaller part of a pre-selected double asteroid called Didymos.
In the first stage of the mission, a spacecraft will deliberately crash into the space rock.
Then a second ship will assess the crash site and gather data on the effects of the collision.
NASA is already working on a craft called Double Asteroid Impact Test, whilst Italy will send a mini satellite to gather data as the mission progresses.