Scientists predict that an asteroid the size of Burj Khalifa will pass close to Earth by mid-December. Named 163899, the asteroid is about 791 meters in diameter and about two kilometers long. Burj Khalifa is the tallest man-made structure on earth.
However, the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico has previously observed that the asteroid could be much larger. The Arecibo Observatory or NASA’s claim that this is the shape of a sweet potato, or the shape of a hippopotamus, has caused laughter in the scientific community.
Scientists estimate that on December 17, the asteroid will travel 54 million kilometers closer to Earth at a speed of 5.4 kilometers per second. The distance between the Earth and the Moon is only 3.85 lakh kilometers. Although it has been classified as a dangerous asteroid due to its size, scientists say that it does not pose any danger to Earth, humans or other life forms due to its long distance travel.
But scientists are also pushing for robotic exploration of such asteroids. Asteroid exploration is now an active field in space. Japan’s Hayabusa missions collected samples from the asteroid Ryugu and brought them back to Earth. Last month, the UAE announced plans to become the first Arab country to launch an asteroid mission.
NASA’s Dart mission to launch a defense against asteroids is set to launch this month. Audarte is investigating whether it can change the path of an asteroid by crashing it.