Surprise! We Discovered Another New Giant Asteroid That’s About to Whip by Us
Sticks and stones may break your bones—or vaporize you, depending on their size.
Wow, we’re getting really good at detecting asteroid threats—right before they would potentially end the world, that is. The newest one is nicknamed “The Beast” and will come within 3 lunar distances of the Earth. That’s far enough to keep us safe, but at the size of a football stadium, it’s still unnerving that it crept up on us.
Yes, this Beastie boy certainly lives up to its name. It’s about 1,100 feet across (several times the size of the meteor that exploded over Russia), and its speed as it passes Earth should reach 31,000 mph. For reference, that’s about 40 times the speed of sound, and its impact would need to be measured in the megatons of modern nuclear weapons.
Luckily, we don’t have to worry too much about the specifics, because it’s going to miss us (and because there’s no prize for just how spectacularly you get obliterated by space rocks.) It’s just another friendly reminder that we’re not suddenly being targeting by missiles from space—we’ve been floating right past them, blissfully unaware, for on uncomfortably long time.
If you want to know more, Slooh Community Observatory will unleash the Beast with preview coverage today at 2:30PM ET. The flyby itself will occur on Sunday, June 7, and we should have live coverage from Slooh.
(via Space.com, image via NASA)
- There was another one the size of a bus that came much closer
- It seems like we just keep finding more of these things
- They also nicknamed one “Moby Dick,” because they lost it
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