2 Massive Asteroids Zip Incredibly Close To Earth Today — NASA Asteroid Tracker

09 June, 2019, 21:22 | Author: Darnell Taylor
  • An asteroid has a very tiny chance of hitting Earth this year

An asteroid that big can easily wipe out a whole city if it collides with the Earth. The asteroid measures 164 feet in diameter.

That's because the asteroid, known as 2006 QV89, is only has a one in 7,000 chance of actually hitting Earth later this year.

In fact, one zipped by Earth just last month.

NASA's trackers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) estimates the space rock will make its closest approach to our planet at 9.40pm BST or 4.40pm Eastern Time. According to the European Space Agency, it is estimated that the asteroid could potentially hit earth on September 9, based on the ESA's list of most worrisome objects in space around the Earth.

According to U.S. News, the asteroid has previously made seven close approaches to Earth since 1952, the closest one being in September 2006. After its 2019 flyby, the object is expected to swoop by Earth in 2032, 2045 and 2062, the ESA reported. The object is roughly 40 meters in diameter, according to the ESA.

"These data, combined with all those that are obtained on other telescopes through the IAWN campaign, will be essential for evaluating effective deflection strategies in the event that an asteroid was found to be on a collision course with Earth", ESO astronomer Olivier Hainaut said in a statement. As it passes by, it will have an estimated speed of nearly 50,000 miles per hour. And, when it passes by Earth, it will reach speeds up to 22.28km per second or 51,000mph (82,080kph).

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The asteroid expected to fly close to Earth in September is about the size of a football field.

The present shape of the cosmic object's orbit discloses that it is probably passing by Earth at a distance of more than 4.2 million miles (6.8 million kilometers) this September, but ESA states that there is a tiny one hundredth of one percent chance the model is further away and it will collide into the Earth instead. These types of asteroids are classified as PHAs.

On Jan. 21, moments after the moon entered into a total lunar eclipse, a meteorite hit the red-hued moon, which caused a brief and bright flash of light that was visible to people across the northern hemisphere, according to Live Science.

Witnessing impacts like this are extremely rare given their unpredictability.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine spoke at the International Academy of Astronautics Planetary Defense Conference in May saying that tracking and studying meteors as well as other near-Earth objects is a top priority for NASA.

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