What happens when an asteroid actually hits Earth

Pablo Tucker
September 10, 2019

As NASA failed to detect the asteroid, Davide Farnocchia, a scientist at NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object (NEO) Studies revealed that the space agency is not tracking smaller asteroids like 2019 MO as they are very small, and it will not pose any kind of threats to the planet.

NASA's trackers estimate Asteroid CO1 will appear close to Earth around 4.42am BST (3.42am UTC). Occasionally, the asteroid's orbit intersects with that of Earth as the planet travels around the massive star.

According to the space agency's Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the largest asteroid from the group is nearly as big as the Empire State Building. What is the risk of impact? "And since the quantity of heat that absorbs, the asteroid, is associated with such things as it is, what it consists of, the Sun's influence on the trajectory of these cosmic bodies are virtually impossible to predict".


Asteroid CO1 is a formidable object, measuring somewhere in the range of 393.7ft to 853ft (120m to 260m) in diameter.

The asteroid is also more than twice as tall as St Paul's Cathedral in London. A single astronomical unit is the same distance as between the Earth to the Sun, which is about 149.6 million kilometres.

The third asteroid that will fly past Earth this weekend is called 2019 QZ.


Asteroid CO1 is expected to drastically cut this distance down on Saturday to just 0.03561 astronomical units. Aside from Earth, the asteroid is also known to approach other planets such as Mars and Venus.

This might seem like a lifetime away but on the grand scale of the cosmos this is a close brush with the rock.

An asteroid which came crashing into Earth and NASA had no clue it was coming reiterates the necessity to keep a closer eye on the sky in case a giant space rock comes hurtling in the direction of our planet.


After its Saturday flyby, Asteroid CO1 will not return to Earth's corner of the solar system until September 16, 2020.

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