Astronomers have named an asteroid that’s due to sideswipe the Earth on Sunday “The Beast.” The nearly quarter-mile wide space rock is hurtling towards the Earth at insane speeds and will narrowly miss our planet, by a relative distance.
2014 HQ124 is 1,100 feet across and is traveling at nearly 31,000 mph. According to astronomers it will be about 777,000 miles away when it speeds by us, which is about three times the distance to the moon and a near-miss by celestial standards.
Asteroid impact expert Mark Boslough, of Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, said “This one would definitely be catastrophic if it hit the Earth.”
“If it hit a city, it would definitely wipe out an entire metropolitan area,” he added.
Scientists estimate that if it hit the Earth it would unleash an explosion equivalent to a 2,000 megaton nuclear weapon. Boslough believes it would leave a crater about 3 miles wide and shatter windows up to 100 kilometers away.
They also said that if it was on a collision course with the Earth that the planet’s gravitational pull would increase its speed up to nearly 41,000 mph.
Let’s be glad this one is only doing a fly-by.