Several space experts including Dr Iain McDonald and Neil deGrasse Tyson strongly believe that devastating events like doomsday asteroid hits are not confined to the past, and it will happen in the future too.

As threats from deep space loom up, NASA, the United States space agency is vigorously tracking all near-earth objects (NEO) that may pose a threat to the existence of life on the earth. One such asteroid which has been tracked by NASA over the past few months is 2019 UO.

Asteroid 2019 UO: Will it collide with earth?

The observations reveal many phenomena that have never been seen together in a single burst.IANS

It was in October 2019 that NASA confirmed the trajectory of 2019 UO. Initial analysis conducted by the United States space agency revealed that this dangerous space rock measuring 550 meters in diameter is apparently screeching across space at a breathtaking speed of 21,027 miles per hour.

NASA believes that this asteroid will make its close approach with the earth on January 10, 2019. Considering the mammoth size and speed of this object, NASA has classified this space body as a potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA). Fortunately, this asteroid will miss the earth by a safe margin of 2.8 million miles, and the chances of a collision are pretty low. However, an unexpected change in this asteroid's trajectory could unleash chaos on the earth, but these chances are very unlikely.

Is planetary defense weapon effective?

In order to protect the earth from a future asteroid hit, NASA is now apparently busy developing a planetary defense weapon. This weapon is basically a giant spacecraft, and it will be used to nudge the approaching space rock from its original collision course trajectory.

However, several space experts believe that this planetary defense weapon will not be effective to combat the threats posed by mammoth asteroids like Apophis. Asper these space experts, the only way to destroy these asteroids is by nuking them. But nuking an asteroid may result in a radioactive rain that may bring about devastating effects on life on earth.