Is The Earth About To Get ‘Skimmed’ By A Mile-Wide Asteroid?
If we are to believe the internets, Earth is in terrible danger of colliding with an asteroid an eighth of the size of Mount Everest, in ONE DAY! Just how close will it come?
If you have been anywhere near Facebook over the last week or so, you have probably seen dire warnings of an asteroid named 1999 FN53, which is an eighth of the size of Mount Everest,coming VERY CLOSE to the Earth within the next 24-48 hours.
Headlines like, 'Asteroid a MILE wide to hurtle past Earth in 48 HOURS - as experts warn of MASS EXTINCTION!' would make anyone think that our days on this planet are numbered. They probably are, but not from this asteroid.
Whether it was a slow news day or someone just wanted to start a panic in social media, the facts are, this asteroid (1999FN53) is actually going to 'skim' us at 6 MILLION MILES. In astronomical terms, right on top of us, but how far is that really? That would be roughly 25 lunar distances (LD). In astronomy, a lunar distance (LD) is a measurement of the distance from the Earth to the Moon. The average distance from the center of the Earth to the center of the Moon is 238,900 miles (384,400 km).
Below is a graphic to scale of how far our Moon is away from the Earth, equaling 1 LD.
As you can see, a distance 26X's that is a little bit farther than 'skimming'.
So relax and take out that 2nd mortgage, we won't have to worry about 1999 FN53 hitting us anytime soon. Of course, space is a big place, who knows what's flying around out there!