Three Massive Asteroids Will Skim Past Earth Today
Today will see a trio of asteroids pass the orbit of Earth.
The great news is that none of them will collide with us – they’ll merely fly past at a safe distance, according to NASA, but remain on their ‘close approach’ list.
While the nearest rock will only come within a few million miles of our planet, the caution from NASA and other space organisations remains. And in the grand scheme of how massive the solar system is, a couple of million miles is not really that huge of a distance, according to a report in the New York Post.
Asteroid 2020 RK2 was expected to safely pass the planet at 9:12am Eastern Standard Time (so that’s at around 2.12pm BST), and NASA believes the giant rock will be travelling at an incredible 15,000 miles per hour and measure 272 feet wide.
To the average person the passing won’t appear like anything to worry about but in scientific terms anything that comes within 4.65 million miles is deemed ‘potentially hazardous’ by experts.
That said, it doesn’t seem likely that we will be experiencing anything akin to Michael Bay’s Armageddon or the similarly themed woes of Deep Impact.
After the first asteroid passes, the second, named 2020 TB, is due at 2.25pm EST (8.25pm in the UK) and is a little smaller in size, measuring about 223 feet, at some 17,000mph and significantly closer at 2.7 million miles.
Asteroid 2019 ST6, the third and final one, will be on its way at 7.23pm EST (1.23am in the UK) and will come closest to the Earth at a mere 2.1 million miles. Also speeding at 17,000mph, ST6 is thought to only be 85 feet in width.
While NASA doesn’t expect any of said hurtling space rocks to veer off at any point, it is 2020 and as we’ve seen virtually anything can happen. But you’ll be relieved to know that this sort of asteroid proximity is not uncommon.
Only yesterday, we reported another asteroid that was set to come closer than some satellites, around 13,000 metres above our atmosphere, and were reassured that if it were to alter course and enter our orbit, it would turn into a harmless fireball upon entry. Phew.
The last time we were informed about another so-called near miss, was just in September and, as you know, there was no cause for alarm because here we still are.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
CreditsNew York Post
New York Post