The European Space Agency (ESA) has detected a massive asteroid that has a chance of hitting Earth in the future. Based on its size, the asteroid is almost as large as the tallest man-made structure in the world and is capable of wiping out an entire city if it collides with the planet.

The dangerous asteroid has been identified as 1979 XB. It is currently the second most dangerous asteroid in the ESA’s Risk List. According to the space agency, this list features all known asteroids that have non-zero impact probabilities.

As indicated in the ESA’s database, 1979 XB has a diameter of roughly 2,297 feet, making it almost as tall as the Burj Kalifa in Dubai. Given its massive size, the asteroid is certainly capable of causing major destruction on Earth during an impact event.

If the asteroid hits the planet, it would create a crater that’s a few miles wide. The initial explosion from the impact would produce enough energy to level an entire city. On the other hand, if it hits the ocean, it would create massive tsunamis that can completely destroy coastal and nearby inland areas that are several miles away from the impact zone.

According to the ESA, 1979 XB might hit Earth on Dec. 14, 2113. The asteroid’s impact probability depends on various factors in space such as gravitational keyholes. As explained by scientists, keyholes are regions in space that are heavily influenced by the gravitational pull of nearby planets.

If 1979 XB passes through a keyhole as it travels across space, it could get nudged into a different orbital path. The change in its orbit could eventually bring the asteroid on a collision course with Earth.

Even if 1979 XB doesn’t pass through a keyhole, the asteroid could still hit Earth due to its natural orbit. According to the ESA, 1979 XB is an Apollo asteroid. Like other Apollos, 1979 XB has a wide orbit around the Earth and the Sun. From time to time, the asteroid’s orbit intersects with that of Earth.

For the ESA, the asteroid’s close-intersection with Earth could cause it to collide with the planet in 2113.

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