A fireball that exploded in the sky over Japan could be linked to a huge asteroid that’s destined to smash into our planet.
That’s the warning from scientists who have been trying to work out the origins of a tiny, ping-pong ball-sized object which went kaboom as it burned up in Earth’s atmosphere in 2017.
The fireball thankfully crumbled into the size of a ping pong when it entered the atmosphere and was seen across Kyoto’s sky, as reported by LiveScience.
The thing is, scientists have now figured out the asteroid came from a much larger parent, 2003 YT1, with a diameter of around two kilometres. It’s estimated that this big boi has a six per cent chance of hitting Earth at some point in the next 10 million years. Admittedly, that’s a pretty big range but still, yikes.
2003 YT1 was first discovered in 2003 and is a binary asteroid. This means there’s a primary and secondary asteroid orbiting the same axle known as a barycenter. That two kilometre asteroid is the big daddy but it has a little child, which shares its space, with around a 200 metre diameter.
That six per cent chance is very small but it’s enough for scientists to deem it potentially hazardous.
Not that I wish certain distress on future generations but let’s hope that tiny window doesn’t occur within our lifetime.