While the Earth is hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, NASA reports that a large asteroid is quickly approaching our planet as well!
The website of the space agency shows the next five asteroids and comets expected to come close to the Earth in the next few days.
Among them, one is believed to be the size of a football stadium, 1,100 feet wide (335 meters), according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
NASA explains that the asteroid 163348 (2002 NN4), as it was named, is expected to travel at a velocity of 11,146 and to come closest to us on Saturday, June 6th.
潜在的に危険な #小惑星 (PHA)アテン型の(163348)=2002 NN4が2020年6月6日に地心から約511万km(月迄の距離の13倍)まで近づきます. この天体は2002年7月9日に米国,ニューメキシコのLincoln Observatory ETSで発見されたもので推定直径は250-570mです. https://t.co/77MveSCLKdhttps://t.co/f3LygyjTdM pic.twitter.com/ruqdZxJuss
— Atsuo ASAMI 浅見敦夫 (@AsamiAtsuo) May 24, 2020
It is classified as an Aten-class Asteroid, but at the same time, it is a Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) and Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA), due to its forecasted close passes to the Earth.
However, scientists explain that any collision on our planet is EXTREMELY remote.
You can find information about the asteroid on NASA’s Center for Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) website, which monitors close approaches to Earth.
Three of the other asteroids will be the size of a plane, and another the size of a house, but experts maintain that there are any concerns from those asteroids either.
According to researchers, the asteroid completes its orbit around the sun every 0.82 years, or 300 days, and they predict only 30 close approaches, but NN4 will get closer again in nine years, on June 29.
Asteroids in our galactic vicinity are identified by space authorities like NASA and the European Space Agency, beginning with the largest, while tracking their orbital trajectory.
Scientists gather more data on the space rocks and thus can provide a more accurate calculation of their effects on the Earth.
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