The asteroid known as JF1 could be bad news for humanity if it hits the Earth in 2022 with a potential force of 15 Hiroshima bombs, claims NASA.
NASA has been regularly warning the public about potentially dangerous space rocks and this is definitely a big one. The American space agency has released more details of this asteroid that’s near Earth and is around 420 feet across.
Even though the chances are small, NASA claims that it may strike our planet on May 6 2022.
The probability for collision is low; however, as it’s roughly the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, if it hits our planet, it would come at it with a force of 230 kilotons.
Should We Worry about the JF1 Asteroid?
The atomic bomb which was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 released energy equivalent to 15 kilotons of TNT. If the asteroid falls in a populated area, it would immediately destroy the city and potentially cause millions of deaths.
And, even if it splashes down in remotest parts of the Pacific Ocean, it would still cause major tsunamis and a nuclear winter which could seriously impede life as we know it.
So, JF1 has been flagged for close observation by the agency’s near-earth monitoring system, Sentry.
After remarks by Apollo program veteran Rusty Schweickart, spacecraft engineers and researchers from Europe and the US are working on a technique development to steer away an asteroid and prove it as viable method of planetary defence.
Is there a Viable Solution that can Protect Our Earth from Asteroids?
The scientists working on this project have developed the Asteroid Impact Deflection Assessment or AIDA. AIDA will work on redirecting smaller half of Didymos, a double asteroid.
For the first stage of the mission, a spacecraft will intentionally crash into the space rock. Afterwards, a follow-up mission will make assessments of the crash and collect information on the impact of the collision.
NASA is working on a craft known as Double Asteroid Impact Test whereas Italy will send a small satellite to space to collect info as the mission advances.
The ESA mission called Hera will make a close-up survey of the effects of the asteroid and gather crucial data like composition and size.