Sunday, 17 January, 2021


Asteroid wider than basketball court to fly past Earth, NASA says

Asteroid over 22 metres in diameter to fly by Earth on Tuesday Report: NASA’s OGO-1 Spacecraft to Return Home over the Weekend
Kristine Garrett | 02 September, 2020, 02:52

Although space agencies usually do a good job with detecting unsafe asteroids that come too close to Earth, we have plenty of proof that it can happen otherwise as well.

The likes of NASA have been monitoring the asteroid since it was first discovered in 2011, and today will be its closest approach to date.

A further post by World of Engineering puts the distance at approximately 120,000 km.

The asteroid is expected to hit Earth's orbit on September 6, and will be just one of about ten near-Earth orbit flybys next month.

However, experts claim spotting the asteroid will be hard by amateur astronomers as the mammoth asteroid, at such a huge distance, will not be emitting a tail like comets do. It will pass the nearest of the asteroids passing near the Earth for the next decade. "Specifically, all asteroids with a minimum orbit intersection distance (MOID) of 0.05 au or less and an absolute magnitude (H) of 22.0 or less are considered PHAs", NASA had said earlier this year.

The "potentially hazardous asteroid" called "2011 ES4" will be at a distance of 1.2 lakh kms from Earth at its closest.

"The scientific interest in comets and asteroids is due largely to their status as the relatively unchanged remnant debris from the solar system formation process some 4.6 billion years ago".

The asteroid 2011 ES4 will be travelling at a speed of 29,367 km per hour.

A couple of days back, on November 2, a day prior to the U.S. presidential political decision, the Asteroid 2018 VP1 was dreaded to hit the earth.

Fortunately, the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) scientists said the asteroid is not a threat to human life. "We didn't see it coming", Dr. Chodas told Business Insider.

However, the potential damage it could cause if it were to hit would be similar to the Chelyabinsk incident.

It was in 2013 that a 66 feet asteroid underwent a mid-air explosion in Chelyabinsk, Russia. But it was the last to come back, with the other five spacecraft that were part of the series having dropped down from orbit and landed in various parts of Earth's oceans.

"For comparison, that's about the same size as the famous Chelyabinsk meteor of 2013, which broke windows and knocked down parts of buildings in six Russian cities when it exploded in the atmosphere east of the Ural Mountains".

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