UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The giant asteroid which will pass close to Earth in February “poses no danger to the Earth and its inhabitants, even if hypothetical,” said a Russian researcher from the Baltic Federal University Immanuel Kant.
The director of the astronomical community of the Federal Baltic University Emmanuel Kant, Alexei Baïgachev is certain of it: the asteroid measuring nearly a kilometer in diameter which will graze our planet in February is not dangerous for us.
“In mid-February, the asteroid will pass behind the Earth, approaching it at a minimum distance of 0.039 astronomical units. In the units of measurement we are used to, this distance is enormous, almost six million kilometers. By comparison, the Moon is 15 times closer to Earth. Of course, this overflight of an asteroid poses no danger to the Earth and its inhabitants, even hypothetical,” says the researcher, quoted by the press service of the University.
What would be the consequences of a collision?
Mr. Bogachev also explained that a collision between this celestial body and our planet would have catastrophic consequences, the energy emitted exceeding the most powerful thermonuclear detonation. But he wanted to emphasize that such a situation was hardly likely.
According to the researcher, astronomers around the world are closely monitoring the movements of all potentially dangerous celestial bodies . In addition, state-of-the-art equipment can simulate their routes well in advance to warn of a possible danger .
What we know about the asteroid
NASA has announced that the giant asteroid baptized 163373 or 2002 PZ39 and with a diameter of 440 to 990 meters will pass near our planet in February.
Discovered on October 23, 1995, it belongs to the Apollon family whose eccentricity of the orbit allows it to cross that of the Earth. The next time he approaches us will be in 2075.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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