FP trendSeptember 14, 2020 08:34:56 IST
A “potentially dangerous” asteroid will pass close to Earth on September 14, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
Known as 2020 QL2, the asteroid is over 30.48 cm (393 ft) in diameter, wider than two professional football fields combined. According to the data issued by NASA̵
The near-Earth (NEO) object with its enormous size and proximity, however, has no chance of hitting our home planet, the space agency assured. NASA defines a NEO as a space object which has a perihelion distance of less than 1.3 astronomical units (au). Here, perihelion is the point where the Earth is closest to the sun.
Although comets can also be objects close to Earth, NASA says most NEOs are asteroids. On the other hand, potentially dangerous asteroids (PHAs) are those that have the minimum intersection distance of Earth’s orbit (MOID) of 0.05 au (or 7.4 million kilometers) or less and measure more than 460 feet in diameter.
This asteroid will potentially pass close to our planet about 15 days after another dangerous asteroid named “2011 ES4” it had flown over our planet. Space rock had approached 1.2 lakh kilometers from Earth, and NASA said it was the closest approach to an asteroid of its size in the next ten years. The asteroid was between 22 and 50 meters wide and passed through us on September 1st.