An asteroid, which could be twice as big as the Empire State Building, will pass by Earth on Thursday.
There's been some hype about asteroid 2008 AG33 which is going to "Zip" past Earth on April 27 at only 8.4 Lunar Distances. The asteroid is 5x bigger than the London Eye, or twice as tall as the Empire State Building, or 217.4 giraffes. pic.twitter.com/LdWOAinlZ1— Tony Dunn (@tony873004) April 22, 2022
It will take the asteroid 2008 AG33 eight years to finish one revolution on its orbit, with Earth on one side and Mars and Jupiter on the other. Discovered in 2008, it will return past Earth on May 25, 2029.
Know the risk
This Apollo-class asteroid has been labeled potentially hazardous because it is a relatively close object.
However, it should simply pass by the planet. The closest it will come to Earth will be 2,010,000 miles.
If it were to strike Earth, it could cause widespread destruction and a wave of strong earthquakes and tsunamis.
Threats from celestial bodies
So far, NASA has only tracked an estimated 40% of big asteroids that are potentially dangerous. According to Astronomy Magazine, a celestial object which is 0.6 miles big in diameter can cause global effects and mass extinctions.
The most famous and destructive asteroid, with a 6-mile diameter, hit Earth 65 million years ago and whipped out most plant and animal species.
If an asteroid were on track to hit Earth, NASA has various defense systems at its disposal, such as the 1,210-pound DART spacecraft, that can divert asteroids, according to Space.com.