[Representational image]Creative Commons

NASA, the United States space agency has discovered a dangerous asteroid that could wipe out half the life on earth by 2027. Initial analysis carried out by experts at NASA reveal that the killer asteroid is larger than the Mount Everest, and it is currently traveling across space at a speed of more than 52,000 miles per hour.

NASA's asteroid-tracking unit has named this rogue space body 4953 (1990 MU), and they claimed that this menace from deep space has a diameter of about six miles. If calculations are right, this giant space body will fly past Earth on numerous occasions within the next couple of years, and it will make its closest approach on June 6, 2027. On this day, this asteroid will come as close as 2.9 million miles away from the earth, and this distance is very small in astronomical terms.

Considering the gigantic size of this asteroid, an impact of any kind could cause devastation on a global scale. Experts believe that certain factors in space could actually increase the chances of the earth being hit by this rogue space body. One such factor that could affect the original trajectory of the asteroid is a gravitational keyhole. It should be noted that the gravitational keyhole is an area in space where rogue space bodies get affected by the gravitational pull of nearby planets. If this asteroid passes through this keyhole, there are possibilities that it could plummet right into the earth causing massive devastation.

A few months back, Dr Iain McDonald, a top scientist at the Cardiff University's school of earth and ocean sciences had suggested that the earth will face catastrophe due to a doomsday asteroid in the future. As per McDonald, devastating asteroid hits are not confined to the past, and it will happen in the future also.

In order to combat these threats from deep space, NASA is developing a planetary defense weapon that aims to nudge asteroids from their original trajectory. Experts reveal that NASA is planning to hit asteroids using a large spacecraft, and it will help them to change the collision trajectory of the asteroid.