NASA asteroid tracker: 26,500MPH asteroid SCRAPE Earth tomorrow | Science | News



The asteroid, dubbed by NASA's Asteroid 2019 GN, goes beyond Earth in a trajectory called "Earth Approximation." The NASA asteroid trackers predict that the space rock will touch the Earth at dawn on Saturday, April 13. Astronomers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have further reduced the flyby to 2.08 a.m. UK time (1.08 a.m. UTC). This moment will mark the closest possible approach of the asteroid to Earth as it revolves around the Sun.

And when that happens, the asteroid is expected to reach its peak at speeds of around 26,574.8 mph (42,768 kph) or 11.88 km per second.

NASA said the space rock will approach Earth tonight from a distance of 0.00443 astronomical units (au).

An astronomical unit measures approximately 93 million miles (149.6 million km), which is the distance from Earth to the Sun.

Asteroid GN will reduce this to only 411,794 miles or 662,718.6km.

READ MORE: How often do asteroids hit the Earth?

In other words, the asteroid will pbad from an incredibly close distance of 1.72 Lunar Distances (LD) or 1.72 times the distance from Earth to the Moon.

But the good news is that there is no immediate risk that the asteroid will hit our planet in the near future.

Asteroid GN is a so-called "Near Earth Object" or NEO, which means that it occasionally intersects Earth objects.

NEOs are all comets and asteroids that cross the corner of Earth's space.

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The European Space Agency (ESA) explained: "The word NEO means Near Earth Object, which indicates a small body of the Solar System that can enter the neighborhood of Earth.

"A broad clbadification of NEOs distinguishes NECs, near-Earth comets, from NEAs, near-Earth asteroids, which make up the vast majority of NEOs."

According to NASA, the vast majority of asteroids that are launched through the Earth have been pushed into the inner circles of the solar system by nearby planets.

Many of these rocky objects have formed in the inner rings of the system between the planet Mars and Jupiter.

READ MORE: NASA plans to save the Earth by derailing a 2,600-foot asteroid system

NASA's JPL estimates that the asteroid GN measures somewhere in the range of 32.5 feet to 72.2 feet (9.9 to 22 meters) in diameter.

The asteroid may not be large, but its path is close enough for NASA's asteroid tracking systems to monitor it.

The US space agency said: "While orbiting the Sun, near-Earth objects can occasionally approach the Earth.

"Keep in mind that a pbadage that is closed astronomically can be very far in human terms: millions or even tens of millions of kilometers."


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