A huge asteroid which is almost as big as the Burj Khalifa is going to zip past the Earth later today. The asteroid 2000 QW7 which is estimated to be between 290 metres and 650 metres in diameter will be traveling at 14,361 miles per hour when it passes within 3,312,944 miles of Earth at 7:54 pm ET (5:24 am IST on September 15), according to NASA.
The asteroid 2000 QW7 will pass our planet from a distance of 3.3 million miles and it poses no danger to the Earth while passing through, NASA said in a recent statement. However, NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies will be tracking it during its journey near the Earth so that space scientists can better plot the asteroid’s movements in the future and figure out whether or not it may come closer to our planet on future passes.
This is not the first occasion that asteroid 2000 QW7 will be passing our planet. According to the data available with NASA’s JPL Small-Body Database Browser, the asteroid had previously gone past the Earth on September 1, 2000. In the same database, the next approach of the giant asteroid is mentioned to be October 19, 2038.
Just like Earth, asteroid 2000 QW7 orbits the sun and it only occasionally crosses paths with our planet. At the moment, there is no asteroid or comet which is on a collision course with Earth, according to NASA.
Speaking about the dangers of giant asteroids, last month Space X and Tesla CEO Elon Musk had pointed out on Twitter that the Earth presently has no defence against ‘killer’ asteroids. Responding to a tweet about the asteroid Apophis — dubbed as the ‘God of Chaos’ that is expected to scrape past Earth in 2029, Musk pointed out that there is, currently, no defence system to protect our planet.
Prior to Musk, a famous astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson had also warned about the Apophis 99942 hitting the Earth, causing a major tsunami that can wipe out the entire west coast of North America.