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NASA Tracking Asteroid Twice As Big As Great Pyramid Heading Towards Earth

by : Julia Banim on : 31 Aug 2020 14:01
NASA Tracking Asteroid Twice As Big As Great Pyramid Heading Towards EarthWikimedia Commons/Space Reference

NASA is currently tracking an asteroid said to be twice the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza.

The large asteroid, said to be up to 270m in width, is reportedly hurtling towards Earth at 31,400mph.

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Known as 465824 (2010 FR), this asteroid will reportedly collide with Earth’s orbit on September 6, 2020, passing within 7,412,769km of our home planet.

asteroidWikimedia Commons

It is thought to be ‘probably between 0.121 to 0.272 kilometers in diameter’, making it nearly twice the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Not exactly the sort of thing you’d like to picture whizzing by above your head.

First spotted by astronomers back in 2010, this asteroid has been classified as a Near-Earth Object (NEA), term used to refer to any comet or asteroid which comes within 1.3. astronomical units (AU) from the sun. AU refers to the average distance between Earth and the sun.

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Although 465824 (2010 FR) has been classed as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) due to how closely it is predicted to pass by Earth, fortunately scientists at the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) have determined that it does not pose a risk to human life.

It has also been classed as an Apollo asteroid, meaning this is an asteroid which crosses Earth’s orbit. This is in comparison to Amor asteroids that cross the orbit of Mars but not Earth’s orbit.

asteroidNeedpix

As per NASA’s Centre for Near-Earth Objects, 465824 (2010 FR) will pass by Planet Earth at approximately 8.08am EST, or 1.08pm for Brits.

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According to NASA, the term NEO refers to ‘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’.

At the time of writing, astronomers are tracking almost 2,000 asteroids, comets and other such objects which pose a threat to our planet.

Earth hasn’t seen an asteroid of an apocalyptic scale since the one which killed the dinosaurs some 66 million years ago.

cometMaxpixel
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Earlier this month, a space rock the size of an SUVE zoomed past Earth in what has been the closest flyby on record.

NASA didn’t spot the rock coming ahead of the close-shave, with the small asteroid coming within 1,830 miles (2,950km) of Earth on Sunday, August 16.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Science, Asteroid, NASA, Now

Credits

Space Reference
  1. Space Reference

    465824 (2010 FR)