Asteroid the Size of Two Football Fields Will Zoom by Earth This Week
This "potentially hazardous asteroid” heading our way on Thursday night is not supposed to hit Earth. Well, that’s good.
Asteroid 441987 (2010 NY65), is more than two football fields across (218 yards) and is traveling at just under 30,000 miles per hour.
According to NASA, Asteroid 441987 will be closest to Earth on Thursday, June 24th at around 10:09 p.m. CT at 3,711,210 miles away.
On June 24, 2020, it was even closer, cruising by Earth at just 1.37 million miles away --- about 5x farther than we are from the moon.
2010 NY65 orbits the sun every 366 days coming as close as 0.63 AU and reaching as far as 1.37 AU from the sun.
***1 Astronomical unit = 149,597,870,700 meters, which is approximately the distance between the Earth and the Sun (92,955,807 miles)
Although it won’t hit us, it’s classified as a “Potentially Hazardous Asteroid.” According to NASA:
PHA’s are based on the measurements of the asteroid's potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth. All asteroids with an Earth Minimum Orbit Intersection Distance (MOID) of 0.05 Astronomical units or less and an absolute magnitude of 22 or less are considered PHAs.
While Asteroid 441987 will pass by Earth at 15 times the distance from our planet to the moon, NASA still considers it to be classified as a Near-Earth Object (NEO).
Four other asteroids are passing by Earth this week, with 441987 being the largest.
FYI: Below Tweet originates from England, hence the 'pass by' date of June 25, unlike June 24 in the United States.
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