Updated: September 14, 2020 12:37:14 pm
According to NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), a “potentially dangerous” asteroid is poised to blast past the earth at speeds of 38,620 km / h or 24,000 mph today, September 14. The dimensions of the celestial body are as follows. as big as two football fields combined or for the iconic ‘London Eye’.
The space agency called the asteroid “QL 2020” and predicted its dimensions to be between 53 and 120 meters. The rock is expected to whiz past our planet from a distance of 6.8 million km or 4.2 million miles. QL 2020 is currently moving at a speed of 10.5km per second.
According to data cited in Express UK by the US space agency, the asteroid was first found on August 14 and was subsequently revised on September 3 recently.
On the bright side, despite its extremely dangerous size, the space agency based on its prediction has said it will pass safely without hitting Earth. The predicted distance is ten times that between the earth and the moon. This is the second asteroid in the last 15 days that will fly over Earth after the death of the asteroid “2011 ES4” on September 1st.
Asteroids are largely the leftover chunks and remnants of rock from the beginning of the solar system flying freely in space. According to the NASA website, a total number of known asteroids is 994,516 and they largely make up in the category of “Near-Earth Object” or NEO. Thus, NEOs arriving at a distance of 0.05 au or 4,647,790 miles are at a safer distance from the earth, but can get close relative to it although they have negligible chance of colliding with the planet.
NASA has reiterated that perhaps every 10,000 years or so, asteroids larger than 100m can collide with the earth, causing destructive chaos in a particular region. They could prove more devastating if they catch fire as they enter Earth’s atmosphere and are then called meteorites. Those that are vaporized in the atmosphere itself are called meteors or shooting stars.
Regarding the unpredictability of the solar system and that of celestial bodies, it becomes imperative to keep a constant vigilance on the movement of such objects in space.
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