The imposing asteroid, dubbed Asteroid FT3, will come barreling past our home planet on October 3, 2019. NASA expects the flyby to mark the first of 165 approaches between 2019 and 2116. On any one of these asteroid flybys, the risk of cataclysm is low but should the asteroid veer off course and straight into Earth, the results could be cataclysmic. Asteroid FT3 is a monstrous rocky object measuring an estimated 1,115ft (340m) in diameter.
NASA further estimates the asteroid weighs an incredible 55,000,000,000kg.
If the asteroid were to ever hit the Earth, at the point of atmospheric entry, the rock would slam into the planet at 20.37km per second or more than 45,500mph.
The force of impact would likely be equal to 2,700 megatons of TNT or 2,700,000,000 tonnes of TNT.
For comparison, the nuclear bomb dropped on Japan’s Hiroshima in 1945, towards the end of World War Two, was in the range of 13 kilotons to 18 kilotons – 13,000 to 18,000 tonnes of TNT.
The first day on which this could happen falls on October 3 this year.
After that, NASA estimates a small chance of the asteroid hitting us on October 2, 2024, and then on October 3, 2025.
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