A giant asteroid known as the Beast will come very close to Earth on Sunday.
The huge asteroid is the size of a football stadium and although it will come close enough to the earth to be seen with a telescope, scientists say that there is no chance it will hit Earth.
Size isn’t the only thing the Beast has going for it, it will also be traveling extremely fast.
When it comes the closest to the earth on Sunday, the Beast or HQ1234 will be traveling as fast as 31,000 mph.
The asteroid is being tracked by a robotic telescope called Slooh, but it was only discovered two months ago.
Many scientists are concerned that it took so long to discover the asteroid, especially considering its size and how close it will come to our planet.
Asteroid will safely pass Earth on June 8 ~777,000 miles away — 3x farther away than our moon http://t.co/rB3wSWNZV0 pic.twitter.com/Gc74UfoAay
— NASA (@NASA) June 6, 2014
Although scientist have said that the asteroid won’t hit Earth, that hasn’t stopped people from wondering what would happen if it did.
“HQ124 is at least 10 times bigger, and possibly 20 times, than the asteroid that injured a thousand people last year in Chelyabinsk, Siberia,” Slooh astronomer Bob Berman said in a statement. “If it were [to] impact us, the energy released would be measured not in kilotons like the atomic bombs that ended World War II, but in H-bomb type megatons.”
Join us for live coverage of 'The Beast' as it zips by the Earth #sloohbeast pic.twitter.com/BKtzWMroJo
— SLOOH (@Slooh) June 5, 2014
Slooh has recently partnered with NASA to search for giant asteroids that have the possibility of colliding with Earth or coming very close to it. There are believed to be 15,000 near-Earth asteroids 460 feet (140 m) wide, and of these, only about 30 percent of those have been found.
Amateur Asteroid Hunters Take Note: NASA and Slooh Will Ask For Your Help #asteroids #space http://t.co/J8QbGwRHp9 pic.twitter.com/9DQE2hbP3E
— Universe Today (@universetoday) May 22, 2014
By finding and tracking these killer asteroids, scientists can determine if the earth is in danger of being hit by one. If a giant asteroid ever does collide with Earth, it could potentially kill millions of people and change the planet forever.
By understanding how killer asteroids travel, NASA and Slooh can develop ways to destroy them if necessary.
Do you think Earth will ever be struck by a killer asteroid?
Image via Wikimedia Commons