Another giant asteroid is heading toward Earth and may hit it. The good news is that the probability of that happening isn't too high, and even if it does, it will happen in 2880, writes the Sunday Times.
Astronomers have dubbed the asteroid 1950DA. In their views, the asteroid is not affected by the laws of physics and is not affected by gravity due to the van der Waals forces. The asteroid is spinning exceptionally fast, but instead of falling apart, has remained whole and its trajectory is pointed toward our planet. It is because of the cohesive forces of van der Waals that it has managed to remain in this state.
These forces are responsible for the traction between different molecules. They are caused during the attraction of particles of opposite charges. Also, they are affected by the size of the atoms and molecules, which is why the larger particles are, the greater the forces.
1950DA is being monitored by scientists from the University of Tennessee. Their data indicates that the asteroid has a diameter of nearly half a mile (1 km) and it's traveling at nearly 9.5 miles/hour. Every 2 hours and 6 min, 1950DA completes 1 full rotation.
Astronomers are confounded how the celestial body has not fallen apart by now at that speed. It is moving so fast that there is 0 gravity at its equator. If anyone were to find themselves there, they would be launched directly into space.
So far, scientists have discussed the issue of the presence of cohesive forces in small asteroids, but have not observed them. If 1950DA were to collide with Earth, an undreamt-of apocalypse will befall us.
Luckily however, the probability of such an event is incredibly slim. Still, scientists have calculated when the fatal collision might occur. According to them, it could happen on March 16, 2880.
1950DA was spotted by astronomers on February 23rd, 1950. They observed it for 2 weeks, after which the object vanished from their sights. The asteroid appeared again on December 31st, 2000. Let us not forget that this is just one of the 1400 asteroids that threaten our planet.