A huge asteroid, similar to the one that was during the Tunguska event, is heading towards Earth

(ORDO NEWS) — It is believed that the fall of this object to Earth can lead to a large-scale catastrophe, and the explosion power can reach 12 megatons.

Astronomers have reported the approach of a potentially dangerous asteroid called 2018 AH, which will fly past the Earth in late December.

NASA recalled that the object had already flown past our planet in 2018, after which, due to its dimness, it remained unnoticed for a long time. Astronomers’ calculations show that there is no danger of collision during this flyby.

Asteroid 2018 AH

Asteroid 2018 AH passed Earth as early as 2018, but it will continue to return from time to time due to its elliptical orbit.

If this time the distance between it and the Earth is 4.5 million kilometers, then it is not known what it will be during the next flights. Three years ago, 2018 AH flew less than 300,000 km. This flyby will take place on December 27th.

Size and Power of Potential Collision

According to experts, the celestial body reaches 84 – 190 meters in diameter, which makes it larger than the alleged Tunguska meteorite of 1908. It is believed that the fall of this object to Earth can lead to a large-scale catastrophe, and the explosion power can reach 12 megatons.

That is, a collision can cause more destructive destruction than an atomic bomb explosion. This forces us to treat the asteroid as a serious danger in the event that in 2018 the AH changes direction and flies towards the Earth.

Category and danger

According to NASA’s classification of asteroids, 2018 AH is classified as an Apollo object, which corresponds to the maximum level of danger. The orbits of such celestial bodies have points of intersection with the orbit of the Earth, but the agency’s experts cannot fully say whether the object will collide with our planet or not.

Astronomers are inclined to believe that this will not happen. The next truly massive asteroid should be expected in Earth orbit no earlier than 2028, when asteroid 2001 WN5 with a diameter of 1000 meters will approach the Earth.

Comparison of asteroid 2018 AH with the Tunguska meteorite

We already mentioned the Tunguska meteorite above, but an even deeper comparison can be made with the approaching asteroid 2018 AH. Moreover, it took place in a deserted area, where there is almost no population. However, the explosion damaged a vast area believed to be home to some 80 million trees.

The explosion during this event was more powerful than an atomic bomb, so imagine what a catastrophe it would cause in a densely populated region. Now imagine the approaching asteroid 2018 AH, which is believed to be much larger than the Tunguska meteorite.

Fortunately, this flyby will pass too far from the Earth to pose any danger, but, as astronomers note, there are no guarantees about its future approaches.


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