Around 66 million years ago, a giant asteroid hit planet earth with its full fury and resulted in the extinction of dinosaurs. Since then, no such deadly events have happened on the blue planet and this absence of a cataclysmic event of such magnitude has played a crucial role in the evolution of human beings.
However, several space scientists strongly believe that asteroid hits could happen in the future. To avoid a possible collision that may question the existence of humanity, space agencies like NASA and ESA are monitoring near-earth objects and their trajectory. One such asteroid named 2021 QM1 was detected in August 2021, and scientists initially speculated that this rogue space rock will hit the earth on April 02, 2052.
Is 2021 QM a risk to the existence of planet earth?
Initially, scientists classified this asteroid as a risky space rock that could hit the earth.
"These early observations gave us more information about the asteroid's path, which we then projected into the future. We could see its future paths around the Sun, and in 2052 it could come dangerously close to Earth. The more the asteroid was observed, the greater that risk became," said Richard Moissl, ESA's Head of Planetary Defence, in a press statement.
However, after a series of scientific observations and calculations, ESA experts have now removed this asteroid from the risk list. As 2021 QM has been removed from the list, there are only 1,377 asteroids that may impact the earth in the future.
Asteroid hits are not confined to the past
A few months back, top space expert Dr Iain McDonald told that devastating events like asteroid hits are not confined to the past, and they may happen in the future too.
Popular American physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson also shares similar views, and he once said that the extinction of human race may be most probably due to a deadly asteroid hit.