NASA has predicted 31 potential dates between 2019 and 2101, on which the asteroid threatens to hit the Earth. The closest impact date, which also happens to be the most likely date of cataclysm, falls on December 28, 2019. The asteroid, dubbed Asteroid 2010 GD37, is next most likely to crash into Earth on December 21, 2093. The asteroid also threatens to hit Earth in December 2022, December 2024 and December 2027.
NASA’s terrifying predictions are based on 19 observations made between April 5, 2010, and April 9, 2010.
During this brief period of analysis, the US space agency calculated the asteroid’s diameter and mass as well as its barreling speed.
According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Asteroid GD37 measures roughly 4,137ft (1.261km) across.
The asteroid also weighs in at an incredible 2.7 trillion kg or 2,700,000,000,000kg.
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NASA asteroid warning: A colossal space rock threatens to hit the Earth in December this year
NASA asteroid warning: NASA’s orbital trajectory diagram
Because of this, NASA believes the asteroid packs a devastating impact force of 260,000 Megatons (Mt).
If an asteroid is indeed going to come very near the Earth then a collision cannot be ruled out early on
Just one megaton is the equivalent of 1,000kg of TNT, meaning GD37 could hit Earth with the force of 260,000,000kg of TNT.
For comparison, the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, had a blast force between 13 to 18 Kilotons (Kt) or 13,000 to 18,000 tonnes of TNT.
And at the point of atmospheric entry, Asteroid GD37 would likely hit the Earth at a velocity of 581 trillion mph (28.65km per second).
But what exactly is the risk of Asteroid GD37 striking Earth this year or on any of NASA’s other 30 risk dates?
Thankfully, the danger is minimal and will likely remain so unless some force pushes the asteroid out of its orbit and into Earth’s path.
On December 28, 2019, there is an impact probability of 0.000000070 percent.
This means there is a one in 1,400,000,000 odds of cataclysm or a 99.99999993 percent chance the asteroid will miss.
A devastating crash is even less likely to happen on the next most likely impact date in 2093.
NASA estimates there is 0.000000061 percent chance the asteroid will hit, or in other words, a 99.999999939 percent chance it will miss.
The least likely date of impact falls on December 16, 2079, when the asteroid only has a 0.000000011 percent chance of hitting the Earth.
Asteroids like GD37 are tracked by NASA’s Sentry systems, which keep a watchful eye on all cataclysmic asteroids threatening Earth.
The US space agency said: “If an asteroid is indeed going to come very near the Earth then a collision cannot be ruled out early on.
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NASA asteroid warning: The space rock is believed to weigh 2.7 trillion kg
“The impact probability will tend to grow as the orbit is refined and alternative and safer trajectories are eliminated.
“Eventually, the impact probability will drop, usually quite abruptly, to zero or, if the asteroid is really on a collision trajectory, it will continue to grow until it reaches 100 percent.”
As new observations and orbital calculations are made, NASA often removes objects from its list of threats.
And the good news is NASA currently knows of no object, which directly threatens the safety of the planet in the foreseeable future.