Wonderful Engineering

The Asteroid That Came Really Close To The Earth Is Not Going To Hit It

An asteroid known as 2002 AJ129 will come very near to the earth on February 4th, at 4:30 EST. It will pass the earth at a distance which is almost 10 times the distance between earth and the moon. The distance is calculated to be almost 2.6 million miles. The asteroid was declared ‘potentially hazardous’ by Hyperbolic headlines. They have been telling about the big rock since the beginning of this year.

The manager of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said in a statement, “We have been tracking this asteroid for over 14 years and know its orbit very accurately. Our calculations indicate that asteroid 2002 AJ129 has no chance—zero—of colliding with Earth on Feb. 4 or anytime over the next 100 years.”

The asteroid is said to be the size of Burj Khalifa and was discovered in 2002 at NASA’s Maui Space Surveillance Site on Haleakala, Hawaii. NASA has been tracking it since its discovery. Scientists estimate that the rock is somewhere between 0.3 miles and 0.75 across the earth.

The thing which sets this asteroid apart is not its size but its velocity. When it will be closest to Earth, it will be traveling at 76,000 mph. That is faster than most near-earth objects. The AJ129 is getting a boost from its orbit. At about 11 miles away from the Sun, AJ129 will pick up speed as it will get close to earth.

JPL AsteroidWatch’s twitter account is currently comforting people who are worried about the possibility that the AJ129 might hit the earth.