A massive asteroid called ‘2014-YB35’ measuring about 1,000-metre in width will zoom past Earth rather ‘closely’ at more than 23,000 mph in space this Friday.
Near-miss asteroids aren’t an uncommon occurrence, but a space rock flying so close to the Earth is very rare and if the asteroid would have hit Earth it could wipe out a country while also causing huge changes to climate as well as earthquakes and tsunamis.
This rock has been forecasted to pass within 2.8 million miles, a tiny distance in astronomical terms of Earth on Friday, according to NASA’s Near Earth Object Programme.
The object was first spotted by the Catalina Sky Survey at the end of 2014 with astronomers expected to be closely watching its progress this week.
If it hit Earth, plumes of debris would be thrown into the atmosphere, changing the climate and potentially making the planet inhabitable for all life. Smaller impacts would be capable of destroying cities.
NASA has scoped the YB35 as total of 380 times and according to the space agency, the asteroid’s next visit will be in 2033 – a little closer than this Friday’s flyby – but still not an impact.