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Asteroid Taller Than Nelson’s Column Flying Towards Earth At 30,000mph

by : Cameron Frew on : 17 Oct 2020 18:20
Asteroid Taller Than Nelson's Column Flying Towards Earth At 30,000mphAsteroid Taller Than Nelson's Column Flying Towards Earth At 30,000mphNASA/Pixabay

Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it’s an absolutely massive asteroid flying towards Earth at around 30,000mph.

Sometimes, the sweet release of total destruction from the outer reaches of the cosmos doesn’t sound too shabby. All year round, asteroids soar past our planet, unbeknown to the mere mortals below. In fact, three flew past us in one day just a few weeks back.

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Some are tiny, some are a decent size, while others seem ginormous in comparison. For this asteroid, it’s the latter, measuring out taller than Nelson’s Column in London.

Asteroid Taller Than Nelson's Column Flying Towards Earth At 30,000mphAsteroid Taller Than Nelson's Column Flying Towards Earth At 30,000mphPA Images

You can see a record of any upcoming asteroids via NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which keeps comprehensive data of NEO Earth Close Approaches with around 2,000 asteroids being tracked.

On October 22, Earth receive a fly-by from 2020 TG1, an asteroid with an estimated diameter of 47-100m. While it’s not quite the mile-wide monster Bruce Willis and his hardy band of miners had to destroy in Armageddon, it’s pretty big compared to other rocks, which are generally anywhere between 4-25m.

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Asteroid Asteroid Pixabay

So, not only could it be the size of Nelson’s Column, but it has the capacity to be nearly twice as large. However, if you’re even the slightest bit concerned about 2020 TG1 smashing into Earth and blowing us all to kingdom come, curb your concerns.

While it’s whirling through space at 13.4 kilometres per second – which equals around 30,735mph – it’s quite far away. To be more specific, it’ll fly past us at around 18.3 lunar distance, which is around 4,371,070 miles away.

Asteroid ThumbAsteroid ThumbPxhere
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And for those wondering what a NEO is, it’s a term NASA uses for ‘comets and asteroids that have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth’s neighbourhood’.

If you want to stay up to mark the occasion, 2020 TG1 will pass Earth on October 22 at 10.49pm EST, which is around 3.49am the next morning for the Brits.

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Science, Asteroid, Astronomy, NASA, Space

Credits

NASA
  1. NASA

    2020 TG1