For those of you who are worried about the “potentially hazardous” asteroid, we’d like to clear something up real quick — you’re going to be fine. The asteroid is not going to hit us. We repeat: The asteroid is not going to hit us.
Thanks exaggerated headlines, everyone on the internet is freaking out about an asteroid (known as 2002 AJ129) hitting Earth on February 4, at 4:30 EST. Though the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) admitted to an asteroid making a “close approach” to Earth on February 4, the asteroid in question will still be more than 2.6 million miles away.
An asteroid we’ve had our eye on for over 14 years will make a close approach to Earth on Feb. 4. No need to worry, during its closest approach, the asteroid will be no closer than 10x’s the distance between Earth & the Moon, which is ~2.6 million miles: https://t.co/o89W24dGws pic.twitter.com/p5lVmdVW61— NASA (@NASA) January 19, 2018
“We have been tracking this asteroid for over 14 years and know its orbit very accurately,” said Paul Chodas, manager of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California, in a press statement. “Our calculations indicate that asteroid 2002 AJ129 has no chance — zero — of colliding with Earth on February 4, or any time over the next 100 years.”
Feel better now? Good. If you’re still worried, just take a glance at JPL’s AsteroidWatch Twitter feed, whose moderators are doing their very best to assure the public that we are fine.
It will not hit Earth.— Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) January 20, 2018
That's already taken into account, as well as the gravity of other bodies in the solar system.— Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) January 19, 2018
Although the asteroid isn’t going to hit us, NASA claims that it’s exceptionally extraordinary in its velocity. In fact, the asteroid is said to be hurtling through the starry sky at a speed of 76,000 mph, which is faster than most near-Earth objects. Impressive? Yes. Dangerous, and headed straight for us? No, no, a thousand times no. Pass the message on!