1,600-feet asteroid to pass by Earth on May 15: Know everything about giant asteroid bigger than most buildings

Latest news on asteroid heading for Earth: Asteroid 388945 (2008 TZ3) will make a close approach to our planet at 2.48 am on May 16. But how dangerous is the giant asteroid? Check details here. 

Updated: May 14, 2022 10:26 IST
Giant asteroid heading towards Earth
Giant asteroid heading towards Earth

Asteroid 2022: A giant 1,600 feet asteroid which is said to be bigger than the Empire State Building in New York will pass by the Earth on May 15. According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which is monitoring the space rock, asteroid 388945 (2008 TZ3) will make a clos approach to our planet at 2.48 am on May 16. However, this is not the first time that Asteroid 388945 will be visiting us. It passed very close to Earth in May 2020- at a distance of 1.7 million miles. As per the scientists, the space rock routinely passes the Earth in every two years, while orbiting the sun.

Giant asteroid to pass Earth: How big is it actually?

NASA confirms that the giant asteroid is 1,608 feet wide, while in comparison, New York’s iconic Empire State Building stands at 1,454 feet. The asteroid is also bigger than the Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty.

Asteroid 388945 to pass by Earth: Is it dangerous?

Scientists have explained that in case the space rock hits the earth, it can cause severe damage. But as per their calculations, the asteroid will pass the Earth from a distance of about 2.5 million miles away.

Even though it may sound a huge distance, it space terms it is not very big. That’s why NASA has flagged asteroid passing by the Earth as close approach.

Asteroid 388945: When it will come close to Earth again?

Asteroid 388945 had come closer to the Earth in May 2020. The next time it will come close will be in May 2024 but much farther- 6.9 miles away. The giant asteroid will again come as close as this time in May 2163.

When is asteroid considered to be potentially dangerous?

In case the asteroid comes within 4.65 million miles and is over a certain size, it is considered potentially hazardous by the cautious space agencies.

What is an asteroid?

Asteroids are the space debris. They are the remains of the planets that keep rotating in the vast infinite universe. Scientists have also warned for decades that some of the huge space rocks are hazardous for Earth.

DART Mission

To protect the Earth from the potentially hazardous asteroids, many agencies including NASA have been devising a plan. As a part of this plan, US Space Agency NASA recently launched its Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission.

DART mission aims to deflect an asteroid heading towards Earth from its path through kinetic impact, meaning that the DART craft will collide with the asteroid with an aim to move it off course.

NASA launches first of its kind DART Mission – All you need to know

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