Despite reports from various tabloids around the web, the huge asteroid hurtling towards Earth won’t actually hit us – or come anywhere close.
Huge Asteroid: 2002 AJ129
The huge asteroid 2002 AJ129 was classified as “potentially hazardous,” which it turns out is a little bit of a misnomer. Potentially hazardous covers thousands of bodies in outer space that even have a slim chance of impacting our planet at some point in the future. For many asteroids, that means they would have to deviate pretty drastically from their current path. For the huge asteroid speeding towards earth at more than 67000 miles per hour, it would have to deviate an astounding 2.6 million miles to have a chance of doing any real harm.
With the Daily Mail reporting that an impact could cause a decade of icy conditions, darkness and general unhappiness, it’s no wonder that many people are worked up about the “potential” for this huge asteroid to cause some serious damage. At Valuewalk, we reported on the same 2002 AJ129 asteroid just a few days ago, but it’s important to reiterate that there’s truly no cause for concern.
While it’s an interesting thought experiment to imagine what exactly might happen were a huge asteroid to hit Earth, the fact remains that we’re not really in any present danger – at least as far as 2002 AJ129 is concerned. Space is vast, and there’s no doubt foreign bodies that NASA isn’t aware of, but the chances of a huge asteroid the size of a building taking us by surprise are incredibly slim.
No Cause For Concern
The truth is, AJ129 is one of hundreds of huge asteroids that will fly within 4.65 million miles of Earth – classifying them as potentially hazardous. While 4.65 million miles may count as “close” when discussing the vast distances of outer space, in practical terms we’re at no real risk of damage from pretty much any Asteroid.
The Washington Post reported on a tweet from a concerned citizen to NASA asking why they weren’t alerting the general public about this impending disaster, and the space agency reiterated that there was no threat.
If there’s one main takeaway from this whole situation, it’s to dig a little deeper before panicking regarding the end of the world. While NASA’s classification of this huge asteroid as potentially hazardous may conjure up images of a bleak natural disaster, it’s really not worth any attention.
In an interview with the Post, NASA manager Paul Chodas assured concerned parties that there was nothing at all to worry about, too.
“We have been tracking this asteroid for over 14 years and know its orbit very accurately,” NASA manager Paul Chodas said. “Asteroid 2002 AJ129 has no chance — zero — of colliding with Earth on Feb. 4 or any time over the next 100 years.”
Unfortunately, due to some misinformation, NASA is still playing damage control when it comes to explaining the path of this huge asteroid. Despite their best intentions, it’s likely that many people will still be nervous; February 5th can’t come soon enough.