A massive spacecraft twice the size of Big Ben will hit Earth tonight, NASA’s Buffins says.
The asteroid 2020 WWD 5 will zoom in by us shortly before 8.30 pm by
Scientists say that behemoths measure between 96 and 210 meters in diameter.
Although about four million miles from our planet, this encounter is considered to be one of NASA’s ‘closest approaches’.
The Mirror reports that experts have stressed that the chances of the 2020 WD5 putting pressure on us are slim.
But to remind them of Hollywood’s plot line, they have ruled out the possibility of an asteroid crashing in the near future.
In the movie Armageddon Crash, Bruce Willis takes a motor crew into space to remove a monster asteroid from destroying the Earth.
NASA explained: “In the long run, the impact on the Earth is not insignificant, so some insurance from the NEO is guaranteed.
“Right now, our best insurance is with neo scientists and their efforts to find these things first and then track their momentum in the future. We need to find them first, then keep an eye on them.
If the asteroid is thought to be on a collision course for Earth, NASA has several strategies to prevent a collision.
It explains: “One of the proposed techniques for removing an asteroid involves a nuclear fusion weapon placed on top of the asteroid to slightly alter its motion without breaking it.
“High-speed neutrons from the explosion will radiate to the shell of the surface material of the asteroid facing the explosion. The shell elements of this surface will then expand and fly away, creating an interference with the asteroid itself.
“A very modest speed change in the asteroid’s motion (just a few millimeters per second), acting for several years, can completely miss the asteroid. However, the strategy is to slowly block the asteroid in the way of damage and not blow it up.
“While these modern alternatives are popular in movies, they only create a big problem when all the pieces are facing the earth.
“Another option that has been discussed is to place a large solar sail on a small threatening object so that the pressure of sunlight can eventually move the object away from its predicted collision.”