Three asteroids are making shut approaches to our planet at this time (March 23), however don’t be concerned; the small rocks pose no risk as they drift by Earth, passing nearer than the common distance between our planet and the moon.
The biggest of the three area rocks, a house-size asteroid referred to as 2021 FH, handed by Earth at this time at roughly 12:52 p.m. EDT (1652 GMT) at a distance of roughly 145,940 miles (234,870 kilometers), or zero.61 occasions the common Earth-moon distance. NASA estimates the asteroid’s diameter is between 39 ft and 89 ft (12 meters to 27 meters), or in regards to the size of a semi-truck.
Particulars about its orbit have been revealed on-line by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Small-Body Database Browser, a database of all recognized small worlds in our photo voltaic system. The Worldwide Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Heart additionally sent a circular to the community with observations from numerous astronomers all over the world, together with up to date orbital components.
Small asteroids and comets go by Earth on the common, and actually, this is not the one small world that glided by our planet this week. The newly found 2021 FO1, now cataloged by JPL, zoomed by Earth fairly safely on Monday, March 22 at 11:05 p.m. EDT (Tuesday, March 23 at 0305 GMT).
The newfound world was fairly a bit smaller – roughly 11 ft to 25 ft (three.four to 7.6 meters) in width. At its closest method, 2021 FO1 was about 199,850 miles (321,640 kilometers), or zero.84 occasions the common Earth-moon distance. (For comparability, the moon’s distance from our planet averages roughly 239,000 miles, or 384,000 km.)
And tonight at 6:35 p.m. EDT (2235 GMT), one other asteroid referred to as 2021 FP2 is anticipated to make a detailed flyby of Earth, passing inside 200,780 miles (323,120 km) of our planet — just a bit bit farther than 2021 FO1. NASA’s Minor Planet Heart lists about a dozen more near-Earth asteroids that can fly by our planet this week, however none might be nearer than the moon.
NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office and a collection of companions all over the world preserve monitor of small asteroids by way of telescopic observations, and over a number of a long time of observations by scientists, no imminent issues have been discovered but. Earlier this month, the notorious Apophis asteroid made a flyby of our planet; scientists have dominated out any risk to our world from Apophis in 2029.
Comply with Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Comply with us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Fb.