A bus-size asteroid, dubbed 2017 BS32, barely missed the Earth by roughly 100,000 miles on Friday 2nd at around 3:25 p.m. Since then, researchers at NASA have intensified their efforts to come up with a way to deal with a potential meteor crash sometime in the future. Even though a collision between a space rock and our home planet is inevitable, NASA scientists are fairly positive that 21st-century individuals will not live to see that happen.
The asteroid that could have smashed into Earth last week seems to have rang some bells at the U.S. space agency. As a result, researchers are now keeping closer tabs on the 2016 WF9’s trajectory, a galactic stone on a collision course with our planet. As scary as it sounds, especially given what happened to the dinosaurs, scientists at NASA insist time and again that the rock will burn up upon entering Earth’s atmosphere, deeming the threat of a giant space rock-obliterating all life a distant possibility.
Even so, researchers at NASA have attended an emergency summit to explore in-depth the risks associated with asteroids, even those that are not yet threatening to bump into our planet. A sneak peek into the discussion tells us that it is not a matter of “if”, but more of “when” will an asteroid come crashing down on Earth and what’s to be done when that happens.
Even though the space agency boasts about the advanced technology researchers employ to observe and record asteroids and their trajectories, the one that could have blown humans out of existence was spotted mere days before it hurtled past our planet. The asteroid apparently belongs to the Aten group, where multiple other space rocks are classified as “potentially hazardous” due to their proximity to Earth.
However, scientists with the national space agency say these encounters are more common than people think. Nevertheless, researchers keep close tabs on every space rock that threatens our existence, especially strays, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. With the danger gone, for now, scientists prepare themselves for Earth’s next “guest”, the 2016 WF9, that will approach our planet sometime in the near future.
image Source: Wikipedia