The Empire State Building is nearly 500 meters high and one of the most impressive buildings in the world. The measurement serves as a benchmark for understanding the size of the asteroid 2008 TZ3, a rock that routinely orbits the Earth as it orbits the Sun every 732 days. According to NASA, this giant asteroid is close to our planet as early as this Sunday.
This potentially classified rock could cause massive damage to our planet.
A giant asteroid passes by Earth in proximity this Sunday
The space rock, 388945 (2008 TZ3), is about 490 meters wide - larger than New York’s Empire State Building, which is about 440 meters high - and is classified as a “potentially dangerous asteroid” because of its predictions.
For comparison, the researchers estimated that the meteor that likely caused the 1908 Tunguska event in eastern Siberia and leveled entire forests could be about 100 to 200 meters in diameter, while the meteor that destroyed the dinosaurs was about 10 to 15 kilometers wide. .
Space experts say that 388945 (2008 TZ3) is about 0.219 to 0.490 km in diameter.
While an asteroid of this size could cause devastating damage when it hits Earth, NASA scientists estimate that it will orbit the planet only about 4 million kilometers away on Sunday. By comparison, the distance between the Earth and the Moon is about 385,000 km.
This is not the first time this particular asteroid has zoomed into Earth. In May 2020, a giant space rock passed the planet at a distance of about 2.75 million kilometers. It is not expected to go this close to Earth again until May 2163.
An ordinary visitor, but we have to be vigilant
The asteroid routinely orbits the Earth as it orbits the Sun every 732 days, arriving just as close to the astronomical unit (AU), or about 150 million kilometers, and reaching up to 2.21 AU from the star. However, it is not uncommon for such giants to pass close to Earth.
Experts calculate that if asteroids about 100 meters in diameter collided with Earth, they could generate an explosive force. 10 times more than the January 14 volcanic eruption in Tonga.
Any asteroid of a certain size that comes close to 7.5 million kilometers from Earth is likely to be considered "potentially dangerous" according to its trajectory.