A Burj Khalifa-sized asteroid is about to ‘narrowly’ miss Earth
Films like Interstellar and Gravity may have made space look beautiful, but it can also be a very scary place. NASA has reported that a Burj Khalifa-sized rock hurtling towards us.
Mark your calendars folks, September 14 will see an enormous asteroid shoot by our planet at more than 23,112 kilometres per hour (14,361 miles per hour).
The rock, named 2000 QW7, is estimated to measure in at 650 metres, making it over twice the size of the London Shard at 310 metres and near the size of the tallest building in the world at 828 metres. Depending who you ask, you'll get a different scale. China compares it to the Shanghai Tower, France to the Eifel Tower and here in the UAE to the infamous Burj.
While a massive Burj Khalifa-sized rock charging towards us at a speed near 10 times that of a fighter jet may be scary, don’t worry, it’s really not.
According to NASA’s Centre for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the asteroid is being monitored and has no danger of wiping out humanity.
Sure 2000 QW7 is considered a near-Earth object, but in space terms that is often a really, really large distance. Near-Earth is defined as objects within 1.3 astronomical units of Earth. A single astronomical unit is the distance from the Earth to our sun, or 149.6 million km.
Our friendly little 2000 QW7 may clock in at 0.03564 astronomical units but that’s still 5.3 million km away from our surface. Earth is around 20,036 km so that would put the asteroid and us at around a distance of 265 Earths.
2000 QW7 orbits the sun, so we cross paths with the rock every so often. The last time it approached earth was back in 2000 on September 1, the next encounter is due for October 19, 2038. This is according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Refer to this scale from The Sun for a better idea of the size of this asteroid: