An asteroid with 'earth destroying capabilities' is on its way towards earth - but should you be worried?
It’s usually the stuff of fiction, but NASA has confirmed an asteroid with catastrophic capabilities is hurtling towards earth at an incredible speed. So, is it time to panic?
NASA's automated tracking systems have spotted a potentially devastating asteroid racing through space in the direction of our planet at a speed of 21,100 miles an hour.
Although the giant rock, which is being called 2020 CH, measures between 22 to 55 metres in diameter, it is relatively small for an asteroid. The largest – Vesta – measures around 329 miles in diameter.
And the space agency say there is a minuscule 0.1 per cent chance of earth ever being struck by a large asteroid. There is also a 20 per cent chance the asteroid will hit an unpopulated area of the planet.
Despite 2020 CH being the right size for a destructive collision, it is not expected to collide with earth. The closest this galactic traveller will get to our planet is 4.5 million kilometres.
So, what’s the fuss about? NASA considers an asteroid potentially hazardous if it passes within 4.5 million miles of earth. And according to their estimates, a collision is long overdue.
They say an asteroid the size of a football pitch is due roughly every 2,000 years. But, the last time earth was struck by an asteroid of such catastrophic magnitude was 66 million years ago.
Still, the chances of earth being hit by 2020 CH are extremely low. No need to panic just yet.