A gigantic rogue asteroid named '2018 VE4' will zip past earth today, NASA has warned. It should be noted that this close flyby marks the asteroid's fifth close approach with the earth, and the first time, it flew near earth was long back on September 18, 1947.
As per experts, the rogue space body is approximately 160 feet long, and it is apparently travelling across space at a speed of 4.8 kilometres per second. Scientists at NASA revealed that the space rock will come no closer than 0.03841 astronomical units (AU). It should be noted that one astronomical unit is equal to 92.95 million miles, and it is actually the distance between the earth and the moon.
NASA reveals that any space objects including asteroid or comet which has an orbital path around the sun of around 1.3 AU can be considered a Near Earth Object (NEO). Even though this distance seems too gigantic, it is a very short distance in astronomical terms, considering the infinite size of the universe.
Even though the chances of this asteroid hitting the planet are very low, an unexpected change in trajectory could pose threats, especially in heavily populated areas.
The 2013 Chelyabinsk asteroid explosion incident is still a nightmare among astronomers, where an asteroid blew up above the Russian city leaving more than 1,000 people injured. The powerful explosion of the asteroid shook the entire city resulting in several structural damages.
A section of conspiracy theorists believes that the increase in the number of asteroid approaches is an indication of something sinister happening on space. As per these conspiracy theorists, rogue planet Nibiru is heading towards the earth, and these are all signs of its apocalyptic arrival.
A few days back, Iain McDonald, a top scientist at Cardiff University's school of earth and ocean sciences had revealed that earth will be inevitably hit by a doomsday asteroid one day or the other. The scientist believes that killer asteroid collisions have happened many times in the past, and such dreaded events will occur in the future too.