NASA discovered a near-Earth asteroid, which is expected to approach Earth tomorrow. NASA’s data on an asteroid show that space rock will cross Earth’s orbit.
According to data from CNEOS, NASA’s near-Earth object center, the asteroid is called 2020 GF-1. The space agency estimated that the asteroid has a diameter of about 35 meters. Right now it is moving through the solar system at a fantastic speed of 22530 km \ h.
2020 GF-1 is actually an Apollo asteroid, and this means that it follows the orbit that crosses the path of the Earth around the Sun.
NASA notes that most of the time, an asteroid simply flies between Mars and Earth. Due to its natural orbit, 2020 GF-1 can hit the Earth if its trajectory changes.
NASA suggests that given its speed and size, it is likely to burn out and explode at an altitude of about 15 km. But even if it explodes in the air, this does not mean that it is completely harmless.
Because of its size, the energy released during the explosion of an asteroid in the air can actually be equal to several atomic bombs.
Most of the energy from the explosion will simply dissolve in the atmosphere, but even if a small percentage of the energy from the explosion is directed to the Earth, this will entail significant damage, especially if it happens over a large city.
An explosion can destroy many buildings, kill and injure thousands of people. And all this without the asteroid really striking our planet. For fatal consequences, it does not even need to fall to the surface of our planet, it will be enough to explode in the air and the amount of damage will depend on the height at which this will happen.