Asteroid larger than a nuclear bomb is heading towards Earth late December

An asteroid. considered to be stronger and larger than a nuclear bomb, is heading towards the Earth by late December, as per the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) asteroid tracker. The huge asteroid known as 2018 AH, has an estimating diameter between 84 and 190 meters and is considered roughly equivalent to the Tunguska asteroid, meaning it would be far more powerful than a nuclear bomb.

If the asteroid were to slam into the planet, NASA says that it could cause devastation far greater than an atomic bomb. Luckily, the asteroid isn’t likely to hit the Earth when it passes, as its current path puts it passing by at roughly 4.5 million kilometers (around 2,796,170 miles). That’s over twelve times the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

But 2018 AH has come by Earth before – and at a much closer distance.

Back in 2018, it flew past the planet at a distance of 296,758 km, three-quarters of the distance from the Earth to the Moon. It had gone unnoticed due to its dimness, and scientists, therefore, didn't see it coming.

Since that time, no asteroid of such size has come so close to the Earth – and none are expected to until 2028, when the massive, nearly kilometer-long 153814 (2001 WN5) will arrive. But it won't hit the planet either, is expected to pass at a distance of around 249,000 km – even closer than 2018 AH did.

Meanwhile, possibly stopping the impact of an asteroid is through the use of deflection, which would mean launching something to slightly alter its path. The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Mission, which is presently ongoing as a consequence of NASA and the Applied Physics Laboratory's work, is the most visible of these initiatives. NASA initiated the 'DART mission,' a nearly one-year trip to collide with an asteroid, on November 24.

The DART mission is humanity's first real attempt at testing a defense against an asteroid impact and was launched towards the Didymos binary asteroid system.

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