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Two asteroids will pass Earth by close margins soon, says NASA; Check speed, size, and other details

NASA has shed light on two asteroids that are set to pass Earth by close margins tomorrow, February 28. From size and speed to distance of close approach, know all about these asteroids.

Updated on: Feb 27 2024, 10:16 IST
Asteroid 2024 CE7 belongs to the Apollo group, while Asteroid 2024 CC7 belongs to the Aten group of asteroids, says NASA. (Pixabay)

A pair of asteroids have been spotted travelling Earthwards in their orbit by NASA. The US Space Agency issued an alert that both of these space rocks have been designated as Near-Earth Asteroids, and will pass the planet by close margins. These close approaches follow the continuing trend of asteroid flybys in recent months. From size and speed to distance of close approach, know all about these asteroids.

asteroid 2024 CE7: Details

The first asteroid to pass Earth today has been designated Asteroid 2024 CE7 by NASA CNEOS. It is expected to pass Earth at a distance of just 5.2 million kilometers. As per NASA, it is travelling in its orbit at a speed of 69645 kilometers per hour which is even faster than a space shuttle!

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In terms of size, is it nearly 120 feet wide, making it almost as big as an aircraft. It belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids, which are Earth-crossing space rocks with semi-major axes larger than Earth's. These asteroids are named after the humongous 1862 Apollo asteroid, discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in the 1930s.

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Asteroid 2024 CC7: Details

The second asteroid, given the designation of Asteroid 2024 CC7, is travelling towards Earth in its orbit at a slower speed of 21582 kilometers per hour. NASA also expects this space rock to fly past Earth at a close margin of approximately 5.8 million kilometers tomorrow, February 28.

In terms of size, Asteroid 2024 CC7 is smaller than Asteroid 2024 CE7. NASA says it has a width of almost 59 feet, making it nearly as big as a house. According to NASA, it belongs to the Aten group of asteroids, which are Earth-crossing Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) with semi-major axes smaller than Earth's. They are named after the asteroid 2062 Aten and the first of its kind was discovered by American astronomer Eleanor Helin at Palomar Observatory on January 7, 1976.

It is important to note that while both asteroids have been termed as Near-Earth Asteroids due to their close distance of passing, they are not expected to actually impact the planet, the US Space Agency has further revealed.

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First Published Date: 27 Feb, 10:15 IST