On May 14th, the gigantic asteroid 1999 FN53 will blow past the Earth approximately 26.5 lunar distances away, or 6,360,000 miles. While a drastic change of trajectory could put the asteroid on a collision course with our planet, it is highly unlikely.
However, due to the colossal size of the rock, which is roughly an eighth of the size of Mount Everest, the event leads many to speculate what would happen if the asteroid did hit the Earth. What could possibly happen?
One professor of astronomy, Bill Napier, at the University of Buckinghamshire, states that an impact of this proportion would kill off about 20% of the Earth's population. “It would undoubtedly lead to the deaths of around 1.5 billion people, we are looking at a mass extinction of humanity.”While many are panicking, there is an even larger asteroid that is expected to hurtle past even closer to Earth in June.
Check over on the Next Page to see what would happen if an asteroid of this size did actually strike us.