Earth & Climate

Massive asteroid ‘could be perilous to life on Earth’ on the off chance that it separates

A monstrous mile-long double asteroid connected to a one-inch meteor that streaked a fireball over Japan three years prior could compromise humanity in a great many years on the off chance that it eventually separates, researchers wrote in a report published Monday.

“The potential breakup of the rock could be dangerous to life on Earth,” Toshihiro Kasuga, a visiting scientist at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and Kyoto Sangyo University, said in a release Wednesday, according to CNET. “Those resulting asteroids could hit the Earth in the next 10 million years or so.”

The discoveries were first announced in The Astronomical Journal Monday.

The fireball that passed over Kyoto, Japan, late around night on April 28, 2017, was a one-inch meteor that severed the asteroid measuring more than a mile wide, researchers later decided, as per Live Science.

“We uncovered the fireball’s true identity,” Kasuga said, according to CNET. “The 2017 fireball and its parent asteroid gave us a behind-the-scenes look at meteors.”

The asteroid, known as 2003 YT1, is comprised of two parts: the bigger rock estimates 1.2 miles and is orbited by a 690-foot piece.

“The parent body 2003 YT1 could break up and those resulting asteroids could hit the Earth in the next 10 million years or so, especially because 2003 YT1 has a dust production mechanism,” he added, the Daily Express reported.

The asteroid was first found in 2003, consequently its name.

It has a history of cracking and releasing dust particles into space, The Express reported.

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Laurie Borg
Laurie Borg is a content marketing, social media, and communications strategist and writer. She works in for the last two years. Her work has appeared in sports and the environment. Laurie has also been a swimsuit designer. A former admissions committee member for the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, she earned an MFA in Fiction from the University of Florida, and now lives in Brooklyn.