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This Just In: NASA Determines An Asteroid is Heading Towards Earth and is Set to Hit in the Next Few Weeks

You may be thinking “Impossible!” Think again. An asteroid has been located 300,000 miles from Earth, and it is close to entering earth’s atmosphere. The asteroid, named U2 (meaning “earth’s terrifying fate” in Quechua, no verified affiliation to the band) has been deemed a threat to the lives of thousands of civilians since it possesses a circumference of 240 feet, and it has a potential to break apart into small pieces across the globe.

What Exactly Is An Asteroid?

We seem to use the terms meteor and asteroid interchangeably. However, there some key differences exist. An asteroid is a piece of debris that travels through outer space that tends to have dimensions from 1 meter to over 1,000 kilometers in length or width. A meteor, on the other hand, is a resulting light from an asteroid entering the Earth’s atmosphere. Currently, the asteroid being tracked by NASA has not yet reached the status of meteor or meteorite since its circumference (the circumference is estimated to be about 10-12 kilometers) is too large to fit in that category. Another factor that qualifies the debris headed to earth as an asteroid involves its speed. The asteroid is reportedly hurtling around the atmosphere at a speed of 26.3 km per second, which is slightly higher than the expected speed: 20 km per second. The larger the debris, the more momentum it builds before diagonally aiming to earth, which causes more extensive damage. After surviving passage through the atmosphere, the asteroid is then defined as a meteorite.

The Science Behind It All

NASA has determined that the asteroid would most likely have the most impact on the United States, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Australia, and Bermuda. Yes, just Bermuda. One of the main reasons the asteroid will hit these locations is the circumference and the position at which the asteroid is hitting the earth. The asteroid is hitting at an angle, which causes it to erupt into about 4-5 separate pieces heading toward these parts of the world.

What captivates scientists and astrophysicists the most about this asteroid is the rate at which it would explode in earth’s atmosphere. Usually, an asteroid would become a meteor, then a bolide, which is the light produced from a meteor as seen in the image below. It evolves into a bolide as it starts entering the high-pressure air in earth’s exosphere and eventually, the troposphere. The pressure corrupts the debris from the inside, causing cracks to spread throughout the entire rock, which results in the asteroid blowing up into a light. However, there is one major factor affecting the result from U2 compared to other debris that have threatened our planet. This is the increase of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon dioxide and CFCs are potent pollutants that cause the amount of heat in the atmosphere to increase, which causes a decrease in pressure surrounding the stratosphere (which is above the troposphere) and exosphere. The less pressure, the larger amount of the debris can proceed through all the layers of the atmosphere. The more debris, the more damage it can produce on projected targets. Therefore, to aid your earth, scientist beg you to not burn any fuel or wood as well as disconnect all refrigerators, television, and Wifi. Essentially, ensure a “Blackout” is established in your home. Another recommended strategy to decrease atmospheric temperature is to inhale as much oxygen as possible. So go outside and get to it.

The Impact

U2 currently is hurtling toward the earth in “Mysterious Ways.” Compared to the Chelyabinsk meteor that affected Russia in 2013 (pictured above), this asteroid will become a meteor and remain in its solid form rather than transforming to a bolite (light) due to the atmospheric temperature and pressure. Therefore, it will cause much more damage since it will not only produce “Blinding Lights,” but it will be extremely deadly to the specified locations. Another thing making this asteroid unique is that it is not only composed of molten rocks, but it has curiously developed gold and silver ores (ores are “Better Than The Real Thing”), which have resisted oxidation and reduction in space. Once in earth’s atmosphere, the amount of minerals will be scattered across the listed affected areas. In order to acquire riches, ensure to have collection devices, such as buckets or even trailers, around your house. While there may be a risk the collection devices might not withstand the impact of the asteroid’s force… it is still worth a shot if you “desire” precious metals.

Mr. Chris Shank,  Director of the Strategic Capabilities Office, who focuses on aerospace defense, energy, and research, advises the public to be aware of signs indicating to an asteroid hitting their location and to help diminish its impact. He stated in a recent press interview, “Now that the public is aware of how dangerous U2 can become due to low atmospheric temperatures and the impact of global warming on the situation, the best advice we have is to ensure a total blackout to conserve energy and to decrease temperatures in the stratosphere and troposphere.” On the other hand, Patrick M. Shanahan took a more pessimistic approach by saying, “Nothing to stop this being the worst day ever.” Overall, both prominent figures suggest the public to remain calm and to contribute to alleviating the asteroid’s impact by following the guidelines presented by scientists.

Sources:

https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/1323.html

https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/asteroids-comets-and-meteors/meteors-and-meteorites/in-depth/

http://www.iop.org/resources/topic/archive/meteor/index.html

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/five-years-after-the-chelyabinsk-meteor-nasa-leads-efforts-in-planetary-defense

https://www.nasa.gov/planetarydefense/faq/interstellar

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/10/131015-asteroid-burst-russia-meteor-tunguska-space-science/


Image Sources:

https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1090538/Nasa-asteroid-tracker-asteroid-2019-BF1-earth-close-approach-asteroid-warning

https://www.amsmeteors.org/meteor-showers/meteor-faq/

 

17 Comments

  1. Yeshuwa Varghese

    We all gonna die.

  2. Oh my goodness for real???!!!! That’s scary…… O_O

  3. This has got to be an April Fools joke.

  4. Great job. I’ve been working on my collection devices, but “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”

  5. *scream @yeshuwa lol

    yikes that’s a bit terrifying, good thing i’m in China.
    I’m gonna pray. Everybody calm. God’s got control.

  6. I’m in China, I will not die, yay!

    But this is totally an April Fools joke–look at the URL, “my-last-meal-will-be-tacos/”

  7. Had me scared! ( until I read-my-last-meal-will-be-tacos/)