A giant asteroid whizzed past Earth at a speed of almost 50,000 miles per hour on Wednesday – and it was observed firsthand by Greek astronomers. Asteroid 7482 (1994 PC1) was observed by the Institute of Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing (IAADET) of the National Observatory of Athens (EAA).
Dr. A. Liakos observed and captured asteroid 7482 at 6:30 p.m. Greek time as it passed close to our planet. The asteroid’s trajectory was the closest to Earth that any space rock will make in the next 200 years. At a kilometer, or more than half a mile across, the asteroid is massive – but that’s no cause for concern.
The giant NEO flies over the Earth
Although NASA confirms that an impact of an asteroid more than 140 meters wide with Earth would lead to major destruction, the asteroid that passed close to our planet on Wednesday is not on a collision course.
Although it is considered very close to Earth, in reality the asteroid was more than 1.2 million kilometers from our planet when it passed us, a distance that is more than five times that between the Earth and the Moon.
The asteroid is classified as a near-Earth object, and NASA is currently monitoring about 25,000 of these near-earth objects.
Although there is no threat of collision between the asteroid and Earth, NASA has prepared technology to be used in the event of a potential collision.
NASA’s DART mission, launched in November 2021, will arrive at the end of September this year.
The Double Asteroid Redirection Test – abbreviated as DART – involves sending a spacecraft towards the two asteroids known as the Didymos Binary.
NASA will attempt to intentionally collide with asteroids to see if they can be pushed off course.
The mission doesn’t address any real threat these asteroids pose – but rather tests NASA’s preparedness for any future asteroids that may be about to collide with Earth.
The asteroid Psyche
NASA has a mission planned for 2022 to explore an asteroid with a Greek name called 16 Psyche which contains a double-edged sword. Made entirely of metal, it contains enough gold to make every person on Earth a billionaire – or to crash the gold market and destabilize the entire global financial world.
The celestial body Psyche, which was discovered by Italian astronomer Annibale de Gasparis on March 17, 1852, was named after the Greek goddess of the soul who was born mortal but married Eros, the god of Love.
Located between the orbits of the planets Mars and Jupiter, Psyche is not a medium asteroid, which is most often made of rock and/or ice for the most part, but is made of solid metal.
Experts have estimated that the various metals it is made of are worth $10,000 quadrillion.
If all of Psyche’s wealth were somehow brought back to Earth, its value would destroy commodity prices and thus lead to the collapse of the world economy – worth at least 75, $5 trillion -.
NASA describes 16 Psyche as a giant metallic asteroid, about three times farther from the Sun than Earth. Its average diameter is about 140 miles (226 kilometers) – about one-sixteenth the diameter of Earth’s Moon or about the distance between Los Angeles and San Diego in the United States.