NASA is one of the biggest space agencies in the world right now. NASA keeps tracking asteroids and comets that approach the Earth. With time the tracking system has developed a lot and also a lot of progress has been made in the field of astronomy. Technology has developed so much that we can tell everything perfectly about an asteroid or a comet which is maybe millions of light-years away from us and scientists are still working on the technology to improve it more.
Now NASA has confirmed that an asteroid that is expected to be bigger than the Taj Mahal is racing towards the Earth. The asteroid was expected to pass by our planet on Monday, about less than 4 million miles away.
Astronomers had named the asteroid 1994 WRI2. It was discovered by US astronomer Carolyn S. Shoemaker at Palomar Observatory in 1994. The US agency said that the asteroid is about 430 ft, which is very large and has the potential to do massive damage on whatever it crashes into. The size of the asteroid is expected to be as large as the Taj Mahal in India or double the size of the Big Ben in London.
If this asteroid crashes into a planet, it can produce about 80 megabytes of TNT which is 1.5 times the biggest nuclear weapon ever tested, Tsar Bomba.
The Tsar Bomba was tested by Russia and is 3,000 times powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima and it is so powerful that it can easily destroy a part of the earth.
NASA has a current watch on five major asteroids but this asteroid is expected to be the biggest.
Asteroid defense mission DART
NASA has warned the world that this asteroid may not be dangerous for the world but there are many asteroids on their way racing towards the Earth and no one exactly knows what impact they can do on earth even if they pass the Earth from a few million miles.
So, NASA has launched the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), a spacecraft that will deliberately crash into an asteroid to test the technology to see if the collision between the asteroid and the spacecraft can bring any changes in the motion and direction of that asteroid in space.
The US space agency said that the DART’s target is an asteroid named Didymos which is binary near to the Earth but it will not cause any threat to the Earth.
Thomas Zurbuchen, who is NASA’s associate administrator for DART said in a blog post, “This asteroid defense mission DART will be the first-ever test for the defense of the planet from an asteroid. He said that if we could change the direction and motion of an asteroid should we ever discover one headed toward Earth.”
This mission is launched only for the good of the Earth because scientists now want to produce different methods from which the earth can be protected from any asteroid or comet which can be dangerous for the earth in the future.