Astronomy experts have collected a wide range of all the asteroids about to make what are known as Earth close approaches. And the data shows that this week, a total of seven ‘Near Earth Objects’ will skim past our planet – the largest of which being up to 88-metres in size. Express.co.uk has compiled all the data for this week.
The first of seven asteroids to enter Earth’s neighbour this week is named 2020 RV2.
NASA has confirmed the space rock will be at its closest tonight, at 10.56pm PT (6.56am October 6).
At this time the asteroid will be 0.03790 Astronomical Units (AU), or 3,523,025 miles.
Astronomical units are the approximate distance from Earth to the Sun and equal to roughly 92,955,807 miles (150 million km) or 8 light-minutes.
Many may think this is a far too great a distance to be considered a ‘close approach’.
However, this is a technically correct term, especially when considering the incomprehensible distances of infinite space.
The space rock, which could measure between 19 and 44m-wide, is travelling at an incredible 4.16 km/s (9,305 mph).
This space rock measures between 21 and 47 metres, and is barreling through space at speeds of 4.08km/s.
The asteroid will most its closest approach to Earth at 2.55pm on October 6.
Asteroid 2020 RK2 will make a close approach at 1.12pm on October 7.
Measuring up to 83-metres, this space rock is one of the faster ones to pass Earth this week, as it is currently travelling at speeds of 6.68 km/s.
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This asteroid will pass Earth at its closest point at 23.23pm on October 7 – just seven hours after 2020 RK2.
Travelling at speeds of 5.26 km/s asteroid 2020 SR6 measures in at between 20m and 44m.
The fastest of all the asteroids passing Earth this week is travelling more than twice as fast.
Dubbed 2020 SX3 by astronomers, this space rock is barrelling through space at 10.88 km/s (24,337mph).
And coincidently, with a maximum diameter of 88m, this is now known to be the largest space rock to pass us in the coming days.
To put this into perspective, were this building-sized beast to collide with our planet, experts estimate it potentially have an amount of energy equal to the largest nuclear bombs ever made – as much as 50 megatons.
An asteroid on such as scale would flatten reinforced concrete buildings 5 miles from ground zero.
This would consequently totally annihilate every major cities in the world.
Fortunately, neither this one or any other asteroid is known to be on a collision course with this blue planet.
The closest of this week’s near-earth approaches is also being made by 2020 SX3.
This space rock has been confirmed to be coming within 0.01135 AU, or a mere 1,055,048 miles.
The final asteroid of the week is 2020 RO1, which is the slowest of this week’s encounters at 3.21 km/s.
The rock is a pretty decent size, however, measuring 22m to 50m.
The asteroid will make its close approach at 4.14pm on October 9.
All the data is publicly available on NASA’s Close Approach Data table.
Some people may be surprised to learn Earth is actually bombarded by more than 100 tons of cosmic dust and sand-sized space particles.
A car-sized asteroid can collide with Earth’s atmosphere annually, creating an eye-catching fireball as it safely incinerates before reaching the surface.
Then approximately every 2,000 years, an asteroid the size of a football pitch hits Earth, creating significant damage to a wide area.
Then roughly every few million years, an object large enough to threaten all life on Earth arrives.
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