A huge asteroid four times the size of the Empire State Building will approach it Land on May 27, according to NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS).
Fear not: the asteroidcalled 7335 (1989 JA), would miss our planet about 2.5 million miles (4 million km) – or roughly 10 times the average distance between Earth and the moon. However, due to the massive size of the space rock (1.1 miles, or 1.8 km in diameter) and its relative proximity to Earth, NASA has classified the asteroid as “potentially hazardous,” meaning it could do serious damage to our planet if its orbit was constantly changing and the rocks affecting our planet. ground.
According to NASA, 7335 (1989 JA) is the largest asteroid that will approach Earth this year. Scientists estimate that the asteroid is traveling at about 47,200 mph (76,000 km/h), or 20 times faster than a bullet. The Rock will not make another close flyby until June 23, 2055, when it will pass further than this flyby, or within 70 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon.
This asteroid is one of more than 29,000 near-Earth objects (NEOs) that NASA tracks each year. NEOs refer to any astronomical object that passes within about 30 million miles (48 million kilometers) of Earth’s orbit, according to NASA. The majority of these things are very small; The agency said 7335 (1989 JA) measures greater than about 99% of the NEOs tracked by NASA.
7335 (1989 JA) also fits into a class of asteroids called the Apollo class – which stands for Asteroids revolving around the sun while periodically transiting the Earth’s orbitAnd Live Science previously reported. Astronomers know about 15,000 of these asteroids.
NASA monitors NEOs like these closely, and recently launched a mission to test whether potentially dangerous asteroids could one day veer off a collision course with Earth. In November 2021, NASA launched a spacecraft called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), which will collide head-on with the 525-foot-wide (160-meter) asteroid Demorphos at autumn 2022. The collision will not destroy the asteroidbut it may slightly alter the rock’s orbital path, Live Science previously reported.
Originally published on Live Science.
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