Nasa has spotted an asteroid…
that is approximately the size of a football stadium and its fast approaching Earth.
The asteroid is named “Asteroid 2015 DR215,” and according to NASA’s Asteroid Watch database, the asteroid will make a safe fly-by Earth at a distance of 4,160,000 miles.
Other criteria for an object to be classified as potentially hazardous includes being larger than 500 feet in diameter. As for 2015 DR215, while the asteroid may be stadium-sized, it will pose no risk to Earth as it passes by on March 11 at an incredible speed of 19,000 miles per hour.
This Asteroid isn’t the first time
This isn’t the first time 2015 DR215 has made a close approach with Earth, as its last fly-by was in March 2021.
This also isn’t the first time an asteroid big enough to damage Earth has flown by our fragile planet recently. We saw the similarly sized asteroid 4660 Nereus pass by the Earth back in December. Then, in January, an even bigger asteroid than this latest one passed by the planet, even closer than 2015 DR215 will.
When this close approach asteroid flies by, it will pass the Earth at around 19,000 miles per hour. NASA has deemed the asteroid as a “potentially hazardous” entity. However, NASA considers any asteroid that is big enough and comes within 4.65 million miles of Earth a potential hazard.
Since it’s passing us so far out, 2015 DR215 shouldn’t pose much of a threat at all. As such, the potentially hazardous notation should only be viewed as a label for NASA’s classification system.
What if the asteroid was heading for Earth?
Seeing close approach asteroids pass us by safely is great and all, but what happens when ones not passing us but instead is heading right for us?
NASA is working on a program to fight back against asteroids that might threaten Earth.
The D.A.R.T. program was designed to help redirect asteroids so that they don’t hit whatever target they may be aiming for. NASA is currently testing D.A.R.T, and we’re expecting to see some results from those tests later this year.
IF D.A.R.T is successful, it will help everyone on earth feel a little better about asteroids like 2015 DR215. We would no longer be looking at a no doubt world ending catastrophe.
We would at least have a chance at survival. The way it stands right now if one is heading our way there’s nothing we can do but wait.