A great asteroid is heading to Earth and will go safely through our planet tomorrow morning in what NASA describes as an "approach". Estimated to measure between 288 feet at 656 feet in diameter, the space rock is known as asteroid 2018 VX8 – and will not come alone
According to the asteroid trackers at NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), three other space rocks will move close to our planet tomorrow, the closest of which will buzz to Earth. Earth from approximately 3.5 times the distance to the moon.
Of the four asteroids that are expected to visit Earth on Sunday, the 2018 VX8 is the largest and the most formidable. Discovered for the first time at the end of 2018, this space rock is a frequent visitor to our corner of the solar system. During the last century, the asteroid has made more than 30 overflights on Earth. However, the meeting tomorrow will be the closest that the asteroid 2018 VX8 has reached our planet.
Our heavenly visitor is expected to go through his closest approach to Earth in the early hours of Sunday morning. Data from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, show that space rock will pbad through our planet at 4:55 a.m. ET.
During the close contact with Earth tomorrow, the asteroid 2018 VX8 will only reach 1.46 million miles from the surface of the planet. That is a little over six times the distance between Earth and the Moon.
The asteroid will double for another visit in a few years. It is expected that its next overflight to Earth will occur in 2027. However, during its next trip through the inner solar system, the 2018 VX8 asteroid will only manage to slip within 38.1 million miles of the Earth's surface.
Smallest asteroids in tow
The strong space rock will be accompanied by three smaller asteroids, each of them jumping at different times during Sunday, CNEOS announced. The three space rocks were discovered earlier this month and are not expected to return to our neck of the cosmic forests in the foreseeable future.
The first of these small space rocks will actually graze the Earth a few minutes before the 2018 VX8 asteroid, achieving a close, but perfectly safe, approach at 4:46 a.m. ET. Nicknamed asteroid 2019 JL, the object is estimated to be up to 108 feet wide and will pbad 3.4 million miles from Earth, notes JPL.
A little more than an hour later, the Earth will be visited by another small asteroid, one not more than 144 feet wide. Known as asteroid 2019 JO2, the space rock will be launched beyond our planet at 5:53 a.m. ET, getting closer to the surface of the Earth than the rest of the celestial visitors of tomorrow. As JPL points out, the asteroid will approach only 865,000 miles from Earth. That is approximately 3.64 times the distance to the moon.
The last asteroid flyby that is expected on Sunday will allow the Earth to become familiar with a 190-foot space rock called 2019 JM3. According to JPL, the object will cross our planet at 2:01 p.m. ET Navigating through space at incredible speeds of over 45,000 mph, the asteroid will bypbad planet Earth from a distance of 2.5 million miles.