Another asteroid is on its way to cross the Earth again but this time it is thrice the size of the Taj Mahal on July 25. The asteroid ‘2008 GO20’, sized about 220 metres in diameter, will reach its closest approach to Earth at around 3 am (IST) on July 25, reported NASA.
The space agency has flagged the space rock as a potentially hazardous object, though, the asteroid is hoped to safely pass by the earth’s orbit. The asteroid is to pass at a distance of 4.7 million kilometres from Earth. It is moving towards Earth at a speed of 29,000 kilometres per hour, an average of 8 kilometres per second.
Potentially hazardous objects are closely observed by the space agency as they can be influenced by the gravitational tug of planets and can potentially change their orbit to collide with our planet. If a potentially hazardous asteroid hits the earth, it can cause significant damage.
Fortunately, NASA has developed a planetary defence system that is capable of diverting dangerous asteroids.
If the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission becomes successful, it will enhance our security from extraterrestrial threats such as asteroids and other small solar system bodies.