The next time you’re heading out for a family holiday, remember that you don’t need to worry about getting hit by an asteroid as it moves towards Earth.
The idea is that as the asteroid moves towards the Earth, it will have a slightly different trajectory than the asteroid that is going into the inner solar system.
It could be headed towards Earth, but then it will change direction so that it will hit you at a slightly lower angle than the one it was heading towards.
Theoretically, the asteroids can hit us and destroy us but if the trajectory is such that it doesn’t hit Earth, then it won’t cause any damage.
There is no plan to try and hit the asteroid, but it will be interesting to watch how it moves.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting that the asteroid will be moving around the Earth at around 30 metres per second.
So what are we waiting for?
We can still catch an estimated 70% of the asteroids in our lifetime but we can’t rely on any particular method to do it.
It will depend on the size of the asteroid.
For example, the one that hit China in 2011 was about the size that was on the Moon at the time.
The one that struck the US in 2017 was only about 2.8 metres across.
There are different kinds of impacts, such as impactor impact, which is a meteorite impacting with the Earth’s surface.
Orbital rockets have been developed for these types of attacks but they are not effective at hitting asteroids.
If an asteroid was to hit us, we would have to be prepared to get hit.
If we can catch one of them, we can try and stop it.