According to NASA, an asteroid ravelling at 77,000 mph will skim by earth in March. The asteroid, first seen in 2001, goes by the catchy name ‘231937 (2001 FO32)’ and is approximately half-a-mile long and one-mile wide.
Any asteroids that come within 93 million miles of earth are considered near-earth object, while those that travel closer than 4.6 million miles and are at least 500 meters wide are considered ‘hazardous.’ For the record ‘231937’ is labelled ‘potentially hazardous’ as it will pass within 1.2 million miles of earth.
The Daily Mail reports:
The asteroid, named 231937 (2001 FO32), is unlikely to hit the Earth as it will be 1.2 million miles from the planet – five times further away than the Moon.
However, NASA dubs any space rock that comes within 93 million miles of us a ‘Near Earth Object’, which is three quarters of the 120 million-mile distance to Mars.
The mile-wide by half a mile-long space rock will make its closest approach to our planet at about 16:03 GMT on March 21. It has been branded ‘potentially hazardous’ as it ‘might’ hit the planet at some point in the future of the solar system.
Asteroid 231937 is the largest space rock to ‘come close’ to the Earth this year and at 1.7km is more than twice the size of the tallest building on Earth – the Burj Khalifa.
NASA and other space agencies have implemented an asteroid early warning system, ATLAS, (Asteroid Terrestrial-Impact Last Alert System) to track and warn of asteroids that have the potential to hit earth.
However, the system is not completely reliable as it is notoriously difficult to track asteroids particularly if they are coming in a trajectory from the sun.
The Bible also has an asteroid early warning system. In his vision of the end times, the Apostle John warned of a mountain-sized asteroid that will smash into one of the earth’s oceans in the days leading up to the second coming of Christ.
8 The second angel sounded, and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, 9 and a third of the creatures which were in the sea and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed.Revelation 8:8-9 NASV