An asteroid that was as massive as the Taj Mahal in India flew past earth on June 5, and scientists did not notice how near it was until two days later.
The asteroid, 2020 LD, came so close that it was closer to the earth than the moon. According to the European Space Agency's Near-Earth Coordination Center, the massive asteroid was almost 100 meters in diameter.
The asteroid was said to have been just 0.8 LDs away from hitting the planet. Business Insider reported that 45 asteroids went undetected by scientists in 2020.
But out of the 45 asteroids, this one was the largest of them all. The asteroid was said to have flown by the planet at around 60,826 miles per hour. If the massive asteroid hit Earth, it could have caused huge damage.
Back in 2013, the fifth asteroid of the 2020 LD list, an asteroid that was 20 meters in diameter, destroyed around 500 square kilometers of area. The asteroid, called Chelyabinsk meteor, could have resulted in more serious damage if it has exploded a bit close to planet Earth.
The 2020 LD was the 9th most massive asteroid in history to fly past the planet and it was seen by astronomers when it passed by Hawaii back on June 7, as reported by Deccan Herald.
What if an asteroid hits Earth?
The overall chances of an asteroid hitting the planet are slim. NASA has tracked at least 90% of the asteroids that are close to hitting Earth, the asteroids that were detected were at least a half-mile wide and NASA believes that none of the asteroids can hit the planet.
However, there are still some massive, unknown asteroids in space. If an asteroid hit planet Earth that is a mile-wide, it would strike the surface at around 30,000 mph.
An asteroid that big and travels at a fast speed has the overall energy of 1 million megaton bomb. It is possible that it would destroy half of the life on Earth.
The 1 million megatons are like an asteroid the size of a house crashing on Earth at 30,000 mph. It would have an amount of energy that is equal to the bomb that fell on Hiroshima, which is around 20 kilotons.
An asteroid like this would then flatten concrete buildings up to half a mile from ground zero. It will also flatten wooden structures a mile and a half from ground zero. It would do massive damage to any city.
If the asteroid is as massive as a 20-story building, or around 200 feet, it has the same energy as that of the largest nuclear bombs that are made today, which is around 25 to 50 megatons.
An asteroid that is this big would immediately flatten concrete buildings that are 5 miles from ground zero and it would destroy most major cities in the United States.
If an asteroid strikes planet Earth, it would be very bad no matter how massive it is as it would still destroy properties and it may take life on Earth too. A massive asteroid was also to be blamed for the death of the dinosaurs thousands of years ago.