Three Rogue Asteroids May Collide With Earth This Century

In an effort to protect Earth from any future rogue bodies, NASA is working on developing a planetary defense weapon, a system which can be triggered towards an approaching asteroid and can deviate it from its original trajectory. The United States space agency tested its ‘Double Asteroid Redirection Test,’ a weapon in January this year, that will be launched against the Didymos asteroid. The launch, which is not less than a sci-fi flick, is expected to take place in a couple of years, and will be a milestone for NASA’s Planetary Defence Coordination Office.

NASA has been continuously monitoring near-Earth objects for a while now. There have been several events where asteroids zipped past the Earth without any inkling.

During BBC’s Today programme, Dr. Iain McDonald, a top scientist at Cardiff University made a remark predicting that Earth will be hit by a doomsday asteroid one day or the other. He professed that even small asteroids have a destructive potential and could turn our planet into a barren land.

Along the lines, let’s have a look at three deadly asteroids that are already on their way to collide with Earth in the next hundred years to come:

This 900-metre-diameter asteroid is currently hurtling through the solar system at nearly 70,000 kmph and it is getting almost 30 km closer to Earth every second! Ranking second in the European Space Agency (ESA) list of ‘Risk List’ for near-Earth asteroids, Asteroid 1979 XB is a mini planet in itself and could strike Earth in 2024. Experts hold that only a tiny variation in its orbit is enough to push it very close to the Earth suddenly.

This space entity is four-times the size of a football field and may come in as a close shave to Earth on April 13, 2029. On hitting Earth with all its might, Apophis will set off the deadliest earthquake ever recorded on our planet, equivalent to 15,000 nuclear weapons detonating at once. If missed its mark in 2029, it will come again, seven years later, on April 13, 2036. Currently 200 million kilometres apart, Apophis will fly the Earth at a safe distance of around 30 million kilometres this year in mid-October.

Unlike other asteroids, Bennu is a gigantic space body weighing approximately 79 billion kilograms. NASA plans to deflect the asteroid using its planetary defence weapon, but experts believe that it is a near-impossible mission, given its size and mass. It is being predicted that it will collide with Earth in 2135.