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Is the end of the world near? Asteroid the size of 10 buses is hurtling towards Earth

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  • A huge asteroid, the size of 10 buses, is hurtling towards Earth.
  • Is the planet in danger?
  • NASA weighs in on the massive asteroid.

Authorities confirmed the sighting of an asteroid the size of 10 buses that is heading towards Earth. In light of this frightening announcement, some are worried that we’re facing the end of the world.

According to the Daily Mail, a massive space rock larger than 10 buses stacked side by side, is hurtling toward Earth. NASA reportedly said that the asteroid, named 2013 WV44, will fly by around 1 a.m. CST on Wednesday.

Is the end of the world near?

The asteroid is estimated to be up to 524 feet (160 meters) in diameter. It will travel at a speed of 11.8 km per second or more than 26,000 miles per hour, approximately 34 times the speed of sound. Although it is hurtling towards Earth, it will never come closer than 0.02334 astronomical units, or about 2.1 million miles.

Despite being about nine times further away than the moon, the asteroid is classified as a near-Earth object (NEO) and is being tracked by NASA. «NEOs are comets and asteroids that have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth’s neighborhood,» NASA reported.

Asteroid the size of 10 buses is hurtling towards Earth

Composed primarily of ice, water, and embedded with dust particles, comets originally formed in the cold outer planetary system, while most rocky asteroids formed in the warm inner solar system between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

«Scientific interest in comets and asteroids stems largely from their status as relatively undisturbed remnants of the solar system formation process some 4.6 billion years ago.» An NEO is defined as such when it is 1.3 astronomical units (AU) (120.8 million miles) from the sun, and therefore 0.3 AU (27.8 million miles) from the earth’s orbit.

Scientists say the Earth is not in danger

Not considered potentially dangerous
PHOTO: Shutterstock

Although 2013 WV44 will be at a distance of 2.1 million miles, this is relatively close in astronomical terms. NASA lists it as one of the next approaches on its online tracker, which compiles the next objects getting closer to Earth.

An asteroid is defined as ‘potentially hazardous’ if it is within 0.05 astronomical units (4.65 million miles) of Earth and is larger than 459 feet (140 meters) in diameter. Fortunately, the 2013 WV44 does not meet these specifications, so it is not considered potentially dangerous, but it could still be within our orbit.

More details are expected to be known in the next hours or days

More details are expected to be known in the next hours or days
PHOTO: Shutterstock

One of the main concerns is the possibility that the asteroid could cause catastrophic damage if it explodes in the atmosphere or hits the Earth’s surface. Given its magnitude, the explosion or collision could generate a massive shock wave, comparable to a nuclear explosion, resulting in the destruction of a wide geographic area and potential loss of life, however, this is not likely.

During the next hours or days, more details and updated information are expected from experts regarding the trajectory of the giant asteroid.

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