The new year is off to a rocky start as, days after a 220-meter asteroid flew past Earth, an even bigger space object is en route. To make matters worse, infamous seer Nostradamus predicted an asteroid strike some time in 2021.
As a prelude to the monster flyby later in the week, on Monday, the 32-meter asteroid 2021 AB and the 11-meter 2012 BT1 will shoot past the Earth at a distance of 842,000km and 5.2 million kilometers respectively.
Then on Wednesday, the week’s main event will be teed up by the 62-meter (or half the height of the Great Pyramid of Giza) asteroid 2021 AC, which will zoom by at a distance of 3.5 million kilometers.
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Next up is the relatively gigantic 2016 CO247, measuring an estimated 270 meters in diameter (or 0.83 times the height of the Eiffel Tower) which will mercifully fly past at 7.4 million kilometers. It will be followed up by the 32-meter 2018 KP1, which will pass Earth harmlessly at a distance of 7.4 million kilometers.
While none of these space rocks pose any direct risk to Earth, they once again place planetary defense specialists the world over on edge.
While boffins are constantly working to improve early-detection systems, one historical scientist with a penchant for prediction believed Earth would be struck by an asteroid some time in 2021, with catastrophic consequences.
Born December 14, 1503, world-famous French physician, pharmacist and astrologer Nostradamus published some 6,338 prophecies up to the year 3797 (the end of the world, in his estimation), many of which have apparently proved correct.
In his book, ‘Les Propheties,’ which was first published in 1555, Nostradamus allegedly predicted major world events from the rise of Adolf Hitler, World War II, the September 11 terrorist attack, the French Revolution, and the development of the atomic bomb.
One notable entry covering the period for 2021 reads: “In the sky, one sees fire and a long trail of sparks.”
Many believe this is a veiled reference to an asteroid or comet strike which will trigger earthquakes and other natural disasters.
“After great trouble for humanity, a greater one is prepared,” Nostradamus added in the grim verse covering 2021. “The Great Mover renews the ages: / Rain, blood, milk, famine, steel, and plague, / Is the heavens fire seen, a long spark running.”
However, historians often point out that Nostradamus’ ‘predictions’ are often extremely vague and therefore open to interpretation, making them popular fodder for conspiracy theorists and doomsday preppers.