Football-field-sized asteroid headed towards Earth, space agency says
LOS ANGELES - The European Space Agency put together a list of all the most dangerous or concerning objects in space, and they just added an asteroid that’s roughly the size of a football field heading directly for us — but not to worry.
That’s because the asteroid, known as 2006 QV89, is only has a one in 7,000 chance of actually hitting Earth later this year.
In case you are worried those odds are still not in your favor, you have a higher risk of dying from excessive cold, which has a 1 in 6,045 chance of happening.
The threshold for action by space agencies is if an asteroid is determined to have a 1 in 100 chance of impact with Earth, so no need to quit your day job.
This behemoth, which is ranked fourth on the list of most concerning space objects, will pass our planet at a distance of more than 4.2 million miles.
According to the ESA, the massive space rock, which has a diameter of 164 feet, will likely fly by the planet on Sept. 9, 2019.
To put it into perspective, some of the bigger objects on that list are as big as 2,900 feet in diameter, specifically 99942 Apophis, which comes in at a whopping 1230.31 feet.
We are certainly not alone in our solar system, and whether or not we're safe is debatable. On Feb. 15, 2013, a 65-foot meteor crashed into a small city in Russia called Chelyabink resulting in the damage of 7,200 buildings and 1,500 people injured.
According to NASA, the number of discovered near-Earth asteroids totaled more than 19,000 at the start of 2019.
In fact, one zipped by Earth just last month. It was nearly a mile wide — large enough to have its own orbiting moon.
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine spoke at the International Academy of Astronautics Planetary Defense Conference in May saying that tracking and studying meteors as well as other near-Earth objects is a top priority for NASA. He also explained that every 60 years, a meteor could hit Earth, causing serious damage.