Unless you’re an astrophysics nerd you’ve likely never heard of ‘2002 AJ129.’ Unfortunately it’s not a spacecraft from Star Wars. It’s an asteroid currently hurtling dangerously close to Earth. And NASA is keeping a close eye on it.
So what makes this asteroid so scary? AJ129 is labeled as a “potentially hazardous” object because it’s about a quarter mile larger than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building. It’s also 0.7 miles wide and traveling at 67,000 miles per hour. If it were to hit Earth it would likely put the planet into an ice age.
Just look at what this one-ton meteorite did over Michigan this past week as it disintegrated entering the atmosphere. Its explosion sent a shockwave measuring a magnitude 2.0.
— CNN (@CNN) January 17, 2018
Okay, so are you ready for the good news? Unless some unforeseen dark matter changes the rock’s trajectory, it appears it won’t hit Earth when it’s expected to pass by on February 4. As of right now, scientists have AJ129 coming within 2.5 million miles of contact with the globe, about 11 times the distance between the Earth and the moon.
So instead of picking up the phone to call the Armageddon crew, grab some popcorn and a telescope in two weeks.
Still, Steve Buscemi, you’re on standby!
And speaking of asteroids: Dinosaurs Would Still Be Roaming The Earth Today If That Darn Asteroid Had Hit Elsewhere
Josh Helmuth is a sports guy and a contributor for Mandatory.