According to NASA, a 430-foot asteroid dubbed 1994 WR12 is expected to cross Earth’s orbital path early next week.
NASA says we can expect to see the asteroid in the sky between 4:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday in California.
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On November 28, 1994, American astronomer Carolyn S. Shoemaker spotted the huge space rock at the Palomar Observatory, which was slightly larger than an American football field.
The JPL Center for NEO Studies (CNEOS) classified it as a risk of impact on Earth until 2016, when it was removed from its list of sentinels after several observations.
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According to NASA astronomers, the 1994 WR12’s impact on Earth would produce energy equivalent to 77 megatons of TNT, making it 112 times more powerful than Tsar Bomba, the largest nuclear weapon ever to be unleashed.
But don’t worry, for now we’re safe. 1994 WR12 will pass the Earth at a distance of 3.8 million miles on Monday.
However, sooner or later a huge asteroid will collide with the Earth’s atmosphere. Professor Alan Duffy, director of the Space Technology and Industry Institute, has some wise advice when this happens: “Don’t look at him. “
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“I mean, it’s going to be hard not to do it – the brightness of the glow of these objects burning in the atmosphere,” the professor said. “This is actually what caused a lot of injuries in Chelyabinsk (a meteor in Russia in 2013), people looked up at this huge burning fireball in the sky, the brightness of which was basically that of the Sun in the sky. moment when it finally broke. , which caused a lot of damage to the retina – so make sure you don’t look straight at it.