A Gigantic Asteroid Approaches Earth
First and Most Important: No Reason to Panic, We Are Safe
It is a phenomenon that occurs more frequently than we realize. Luckily, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory diligently tracks and studies these asteroids, ensuring they pose no threat to Earth.
An Asteroid the Size of the Willis Tower
The asteroid in question, known as 2020 DB5, has a height comparable to that of the Willis Tower in Chicago. Today, it will pass by our planet, but rest assured, it poses no danger. NASA predicts it will return on May 2, 2048, after making a detour near Jupiter on November 10, 2024.
Understanding Potentially Dangerous Asteroids
Though some asteroids are labeled as “potentially dangerous,” this designation should not be cause for alarm. It simply means they are large enough to withstand entry into our atmosphere and potentially cause damage to a regional or larger scale. These asteroids range in size from that of a truck to a house or even a skyscraper.
A Normal Occurrence in Our Solar System
These space bodies that come close to Earth are normal features of our local solar system. NASA diligently tracks all their movements. To put things into perspective, no asteroid larger than 140 meters has a significant chance of colliding with Earth in the next 100 years.
Contingency Plans in Place
In the highly unlikely event of a genuinely dangerous asteroid being detected, contingency plans have long been prepared. The most notable example is the successful test conducted by the DART spacecraft, which deflected the small moon Dimorphos from its orbit. This test demonstrated that humanity has the capability to protect itself from asteroids of similar size if the need arises.