NASA warns previously 'lost' asteroid could strike Earth in 2024

Sunday, 31/12/2023, 16:57 (GMT+7)

NASA is concerned 2007 FT3 "lost" asteroid could potentially hit Earth next year after its disappearance for a long time.

Scientists discovered the asteroid 2007 FT3 and then promptly lost track of it. Now, after years of searching, NASA has predicted that this "lost" asteroid could potentially hit Earth next year. 

This news has caused quite a stir among scientists and the general public alike, as the impact of this asteroid could have devastating consequences.

NASA warns previously 'lost' asteroid could strike Earth in 2024 1
"Lost" asteroid 2007 FT3 could hit Earth next year, causing devastating consequences. Image Credit: Getty

NASA's Prediction of Lost Asteroid Hitting Earth in 2024

In 2007, NASA first spotted the asteroid 2007 FT3, which measures approximately 1,115 feet (340 meters) in diameter. 

However, due to its small size and fast-moving nature, it quickly went missing from their radar. It wasn't until recently that NASA was able to locate the asteroid again and predict its potential impact on Earth.

According to their calculations, there is a one in 11 million chance that the asteroid will collide with our planet on October 5, 2024.

This may seem like a small probability, but when it comes to space objects, even the slightest chance of impact can have catastrophic consequences. 

NASA warns previously 'lost' asteroid could strike Earth in 2024 2
NASA found asteroid 2007 FT3 in 2007 but lost track of it. Now, there is a slight chance it could collide with Earth on October 5, 2024. Image Credit: Getty

Possible Impact: NASA's Warning of Lost Asteroid

According to NASA's calculations, the impact would be equivalent to a 230-kiloton explosion. 

This may not seem like much compared to the explosive power of all nuclear weapons on Earth, which is estimated at around 4,000 megatons. However, it's important to remember that this energy would be concentrated in one single point of impact, causing significant damage.

NASA warns previously 'lost' asteroid could strike Earth in 2024 3
Asteroid 2007 FT3 could cause significant damage upon impact, despite being smaller than the collective power of nuclear weapons. Image Credit: Getty

The asteroid is estimated to be traveling at a speed of 20,000 miles per hour, and if it were to hit Earth, it would release energy equivalent to 2.6 billion tons of TNT. 

To put that into perspective, that's around 2600 megatons of TNT, or 48 times the explosive power of the Tsar Bomba, the largest nuclear warhead ever detonated.

If the asteroid were to hit land, it could potentially create a crater up to half a mile wide and destroy within a radius of 10 miles. 

If it were to hit the ocean, it could trigger a tsunami with waves reaching up to 30 feet high.

NASA warns previously 'lost' asteroid could strike Earth in 2024 4
The asteroid could lead to massive energy release, destructive consequences on land, and a potential tsunami if it hits the ocean. Image Credit: Getty

In addition to tracking the asteroid, NASA is also working on developing technologies to deflect or redirect any potential threats in the future. 

This includes the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, which aims to test the effectiveness of a kinetic impactor in changing the trajectory of an asteroid.