NASA Asteroid WARNING: Newly Discovered 230-Foot Space Rock Will Skim Earth TODAY | Science | News



The asteroid, nicknamed by NASA Asteroid 2019 AX2, was first observed by radars on January 3 of this year. NASA astronomers now believe that rogue space rock is accelerating toward Earth with a nearby flyby this afternoon. On Saturday, January 12, the asteroid will make a call "Earth Closing Approach" and it will fly beyond the Earth. NASA scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), based in California, expect the Asteroid AX2 to show at 1:00 p.m. GMT (UTC).

During its approach, the asteroid is expected to miss the planet by more than four million miles (6.7 million kilometers).

But it is understood that the asteroid is taller than the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Nelson Column in London, which is a sufficient reason for NASA to track the space rock.

NASA's JPL scientists estimate that the AX2 asteroid measures between 104.9 feet and 232.9 feet (32 to 71 meters) in diameter.

Such a large asteroid is more than three and a half times longer than a bowling lane and 8.4 times longer than a double-decker London bus.

Even at the lower end of the estimate, the asteroid is five times as tall as an average giraffe.

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It is known that much smaller asteroids cause unimaginable damage by hitting the planet.

When a space rock about 65.6 feet wide (20 m) entered the Earth's atmosphere at high speed in 2013 over the Chelyabinsk oblast in Russia, more than 1,500 people were injured.

The Chelyabinsk meteorite erupted in the air with a powerful jet of air, shattering windows throughout the region.

After the unexpected asteroid attack, NASA nicknamed the Chelyabinsk meteorite a "cosmic wake-up call" to the dangers lurking in space.

READ MORE: the space rock with an explosive capacity of 560 MEGATON could hit the Earth in 2023

NASA's planetary defense officer, Lindley Johnson, said: "The Chelyabinsk event attracted widespread attention about what else needs to be done to detect even larger asteroids before they hit our planet."

Fortunately, the Asteroid AX2 will not come close enough to hit the planet with destructive force.

At its closest point, the so-called "Near Earth Asteroid" (NEA) will approach within 0.04508 astronomical units (au) of the Earth.

Astronomers define an astronomical unit as the distance from the Sun to Earth and it measures approximately 93 million miles (149.6 million km).

READ MORE: Malicious asteroids could SAVE life on Earth, warns Stephen Hawking

NASA expects the AX2 asteroid to cut this impressive distance to only 4.19 million miles (6.74 million km).

This is equivalent to 17.55 times the distance from Earth to the Moon: 17.55 Lunar distances (LD).

According to NASA, all asteroids and comets that are 30 million miles (50 million kilometers) from Earth's orbit around the Sun are "Near Earth Objects" (NEOs).

As they revolve around the Sun, NEOs will enter the solar system 121 million miles (195 million kilometers) from the Sun.

NASA 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."

After Asteroid AX2 pbades to Earth, NASA expects space rock to visit the corner of Earth's space at least three more times.

The next overflight is scheduled for the morning of January 5, 2033, followed by August 26, 2085 and September 2, 2134.


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