Three asteroids, together with one which’s bigger than the Washington Monument, are set to securely fly previous Earth on Christmas Day, in response to NASA’s Middle for Close to-Earth Object Research.
The biggest area rock, often called asteroid 501647 (2014 SD224), is slated to come back inside 1.9 million miles of Earth and is assumed to have a diameter as nice as 689 ft. At its measurement and distance, it’s thought of a “doubtlessly hazardous” Close to-Earth Object (NEO), nevertheless it poses no risk to the planet when it zips previous later this week.
“Doubtlessly hazardous” NEOs are outlined as area objects that come inside 0.05 astronomical items and measure greater than 460 ft in diameter, NASA defined. In response to a 2018 report by Planetary.org, there are greater than 18,000 NEOs.
This asteroid final made a detailed method to Earth on Jan. 26, 2020, and won’t achieve this once more till Dec. 18, 2021, NASA added.
Along with asteroid 501647 (2014 SD224), two different asteroids will safely fly previous Earth on Christmas Day — 2020 XY and 2020 YM1. Each are thought of NEOs as properly, and, like asteroid 501647, pose no risk to Earth.
In 2018, NASA unveiled a 20-page plan that outlined the steps the U.S. ought to take to be higher ready for NEOs, reminiscent of asteroids and comets that come inside 30 million miles of the planet.
In April 2019, NASA awarded a $69 million contract to SpaceX, the area exploration firm led by Elon Musk, to assist it with asteroid deflection through its DART mission.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine stated in April 2019 that an asteroid strike shouldn’t be one thing to be taken frivolously and is maybe Earth’s largest risk.