An asteroid the size of over 100 Barbie dolls is set to pass by Earth on Thursday, July 27, according to NASA's asteroid tracker.
According to the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the asteroid in question has been designated 2023 OR1, meaning it was discovered this year.
The asteroid is coincidentally set to pass the Earth on Tisha Be'av, the Jewish fast day mourning the destruction of the First and Second Temples of Jerusalem.
I'm an asteroid, flying past your world: How big is the asteroid coming toward Earth in 2023?
Asteroid 2023 OR1 is around 30 meters wide, according to the maximum estimates shared by NASA.
Now, there are many ways to use this sort of measurement in a more relatable metric. But what is more relatable than the popular doll brand that has been dominating store shelves since the 1960s? That's right, we're talking about Barbie.
According to official measurements shared on Barbiemedia.com and confirmed repeatedly by manufacturer Mattel, the standard height for a Barbie doll is 11.5 inches, which is a little over 29 centimeters.
So, doing the math, one could find that asteroid 2023 OR1 is around 100 Barbie dolls in diameter, if not more.
But this size would change if one were to measure it using My First Barbie, a new model released in January 2023 for younger children, being around 13.5 inches tall. And naturally, the 43-inch Barbie Dreamhouse playset is even larger. Because when you're a multibillion-dollar brand centered on putting out more and more products on shelves for young enthusiasts and older collectors alike, one thing you are never short of is variety.
Be who you wanna be, asteroid! What other asteroids are set to pass by soon?
Another asteroid is also set to pass the Earth on July 27. Here are the details about it, as well as its own unique metric.
Asteroid 2018 BG5 is measured to have a diameter of as much as 94 meters. To put that in perspective, while Barbie dolls have a height of 11.5 inches, the Barbie character is said by Mattel to have a height of 5 feet 9 inches, or a little over 1.75 meters, so this asteroid would be 53.6 Barbie characters in size.
Come on asteroid, let's go asteroid: Is an asteroid going to hit the Earth in 2023?
An asteroid has already hit the Earth in 2023. There is a chance that it could happen again. However, it won't be anything dangerous.
Back in February, asteroid 2023 CX1 hit the Earth near Normandy, France. However, it was just the size of two Super Bowl trophies and didn't cause any damage.
This is because when asteroids are that small, they burn up in the atmosphere, eventually exploding just like the Barbie movie exploded at the box office.
The bigger asteroids though, tend to explode in a very different way, one more reminiscent of the nuclear bombs dropped in Oppenheimer – as in they can cause severe destruction.
Asteroid 2018 BG5, which is larger, is more likely than the first asteroid to cause more damage, should it hit the Earth. However, that doesn't really matter because neither asteroid is at any risk of hitting the Earth.
You can punch an asteroid, deflect it anywhere: Can we stop an asteroid impact?
Yes, we as humanity have developed the power to stop an asteroid impact – provided we have enough time.
Thanks to years of advancements in the field of planetary defense, scientists now have tools like kinetic deflection, as demonstrated by NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Mission, which succeeded in basically punching the faraway asteroid Dimorphous to alter its orbit.
So no asteroid impact is going to kill humanity any time soon, and we are all safe to enjoy the plastic-radioactive Barbenheimer bliss.
Maya Zanger-Nadis contributed to this report.