Three huge asteroids will skim past Earth tomorrow – and one is 270 FEET wide
TOMORROW is a big day for close approach asteroids as three are set to skim past Earth.
The largest could be up to 272 feet wide, that’s almost as big as the Statue of Liberty.
All of the asteroids are on Nasa’s close approach list.
The first fly past will happen at around 13:12 GMT (09:12 ET).
That’s when Asteroid 2020 RK2 is expected to come within a distance of 2.3 million miles to our planet.
Nasa thinks it will be travelling at around 15,000 miles per hour and could be up to 272 feet (83 metres) wide.
The asteroids aren’t expected to impact Earth[/caption]
Even though it will be millions of miles away, in the grand scheme of space this isn’t a large distance at all.
This is why Nasa will be keeping an eye on this asteroid along with the two that come after it on October 7.
Any fast moving space object that comes within around 4.65 million miles is considered to be “potentially hazardous” by cautious space organisations.
After Asteroid 2020 RK2 has shot past, Asteroid 2020 TB should come next at around 18:25 GMT (14:25).
Nasa thinks the asteroid will be smaller but could still be up to 223 feet (68 metres) wide.
The space rock is expected to shoot past at 17,000 miles per hour and will be around 2.7 million miles away from Earth.
Last but not least, Asteroid 2019 SB6 is expected to shoot past at 23:23 GMT (19:23 ET).
It could be up to 85 feet (26 metres) wide and could reach over 17,000 miles per hour.
The space rock should come the closest to Earth of the three.
It’s expected to be around 2.1 million miles away at its closest point.
Nasa does not expect any of the asteroids to veer off course and impact Earth.
What’s the difference between an asteroid, meteor and comet?
- Asteroid: An asteroid is a small rocky body that orbits the Sun. Most are found in the asteroid belt (between Mars and Jupiter) but they can be found anywhere (including in a path that can impact Earth)
- Meteoroid: When two asteroids hit each other, the small chunks that break off are called meteoroids
- Meteor: If a meteoroid enters the Earth’s atmosphere, it begins to vapourise and then becomes a meteor. On Earth, it’ll look like a streak of light in the sky, because the rock is burning up
- Meteorite: If a meteoroid doesn’t vapourise completely and survives the trip through Earth’s atmosphere, it can land on the Earth. At that point, it becomes a meteorite
- Comet: Like asteroids, a comet orbits the Sun. However rather than being made mostly of rock, a comet contains lots of ice and gas, which can result in amazing tails forming behind them (thanks to the ice and dust vapourising)
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In other space news, both the Draconid meteor shower and the Orionid meteor shower will be lighting up our skies this month.
Mars reaches its closest point to Earth for the next 15 years this week.
And, Nasa admitted a mysterious air leak that has plagued the International Space Station for months is getting worse.
What do you think of these asteroids? Let us know in the comments…
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