America’s top space agency, NASA has warned that an asteroid named as 2004 BL86 will make a close encounter with the Earth on January 26 this year. Scientists say, that it will be the closest encounter by any extraterrestrial visitor till 2027. Asteroid is third of a mile across diameters.
Although the asteroid will pass very nearby, but there will not be any “Armageddon” like scene to become a cause of worry for the scientists and planet’s inhabitants as asteroid will just be waving as it zips by in the distance nearly 745,000 miles away. One might think that’s too much of a distance; however it’s close enough to excite the scientists about studying the object.
“Monday, January 26 will be the closest asteroid 2004 BL86 will get to Earth for at least the next 200 years. And while it poses no threat to Earth for the foreseeable future, it’s a relatively close approach by a relatively large asteroid, so it provides us a unique opportunity to observe and learn more,” said Don Yeomans, who is retiring as manager of NASA’s Near Earth Object Program Office at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Asteroid dubbed as 1999 AN10 will make a closer encounter with the planet after twelve years in 2027. This gives another reason to the scientists to be curious and study the phenomenon occurring on 26 January.
Recently, researches on asteroids have increased as they were the source of initial water on the planet and in near future researchers will be seeking minerals and ores in asteroids. Some NASA scientists believe asteroids to be building blocks to biological lifeforms in our solar system and other galaxies.
“They will also become the fueling stops for humanity as we continue to explore our solar system. There is something about asteroids that makes me want to look up,” Yeomans said.