Are We in Danger: Death by Asteroid?

By: Krishna R


An asteroid is going to pass by the Earth: but is it going to hit us – and what if it does?


Introduction

The ESA (European Space Agency) recently put the asteroid 2006 QV89 on its list of space objects that could collide with the Earth. This stirred fear among people, who were afraid of the effects of an asteroid collision. #confused.


Main Article

The asteroid 2006 QV89 was discovered in 2006 by the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona, USA. Nobody really ever thought much of the asteroid. That was, until a few days ago.

The asteroid is set to pass by the Earth in the fall of 2019. It’s predicted that the asteroid will be in opposition with the Sun around the end of July 2019 (by the way, opposition is when an object is essentially on the opposite side of the sky as another object). This in itself is not such a big deal.

However, when the ESA (European Space Agency) put the asteroid on their list of space objects that could collide with the Earth, all eyes shifted to 2006 QV89. After all, an asteroid collision could cause a great loss of life, as well as causing a great deal of financial losses. #UhOh.

What if 2006 QV89 hits us?


So, should we be afraid? What are the chances of the asteroid hitting us?

The ESA has pegged the chances of the asteroid hitting the Earth to be 1 in 7,299 – this is about 0.01%. This is pretty low – the value that people are giving to the possibility of a collision is far too high. The asteroid is also supposed to pass a minimum of 6.7 million kilometers from the planet (#all_alone), making the chances of collision really low.

But let’s say that the 1 in 7,299 chance came true. Let’s say that the asteroid hit the planet. #bad_luck


What would happen?

Well, the asteroid is only about 40 meters in length. Compared to the 10-kilometer length of the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs, this is nothing. Still, there is some serious destruction that this asteroid could cause: the asteroid could flatten an area of land bigger than London. I can only begin to imagine the amount of damage that would cause.

As a whole, there’s really no reason to be concerned, though. The asteroid probably going to pass so far away that it’s not going to have an effect on us. And the chances of collision are so low that we can pretty much neglect it.


So take that, 2006 QV89 – your dastardly plans have been foiled!


#asteroidcollision #extinction #RIPdinosaurs


References

Geggel, L. (2019, June 08). This Asteroid Has a 1-in-7,000 Chance of Hitting Earth This

Fall. Retrieved June 8, 2019, from

https://www.livescience.com/65672-asteroid-could-hit-earth-in-september.html

Monzon, I. (2019, June 07). Massive Asteroid Could Crash Into Earth In September, ESA Reveals. Retrieved

June 8, 2019, from

https://www.ibtimes.com/massive-asteroid-could-crash-earth-september-esa-reveals-2798649

Culver, J. (2019, June 07). Asteroid nearly the width of a football field has small chance of

hitting Earth this year. Retrieved June 8, 2019.

Image from USA Today

The Scientific Teen

Since June 2018

Using science writing as a medium, we aim to advance collaboration between young adults worldwide with the belief that through educating people today, we can solve worldwide problems tomorrow. By providing opportunities for youth interested in science, together we can increase the presence of scientific writing in schools, further science education, and encourage future careers in STEM.

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn Social Icon

The Scientific Teen 2020.