1200-foot asteroid to pass Earth today, says NASA; it is as big as the Empire State Building
A 1200-foot Apollo group asteroid is set to pass Earth today, October 24. Know details of this close approach such as speed, distance and more.
NASA tracks asteroids using a combination of ground-based and space-based telescopes. The NASA-funded Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS), scans the night sky for moving objects and reports any potential asteroid detections, while some space-based observatories use infrared sensors to detect asteroids and their characteristics. Some of these include the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and the NEOWISE mission. Using these advanced instruments, the space agency has revealed information about a 1200-foot Potentially Hazardous Asteroid that is set to pass Earth today. Know all about it.
Asteroid 2019 HH4 details
The asteroid, designated Asteroid 2019 HH4, has intrigued scientists due to its colossal size. According to NASA, the asteroid is estimated to be roughly 1200 feet wide, which is comparable in size to the famous Empire State Building! Given its enormity, if Asteroid 2019 HH4 were to collide with the planet, it could cause immense destruction, particularly if it landed in a densely populated region. This is why the space rock has been classified as a “Potentially Hazardous Asteroid”.
This space rock is already on its way towards Earth at a staggering speed of 72066 kilometers per hour which is even faster than a space shuttle! Asteroid 2019 HH4 is expected to pass by Earth at a distance of 5 million kilometers.
The space agency has also revealed that 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.
Help NASA track asteroids
Want to seek out asteroids in space and help NASA keep track of them? NASA has a new Daily Minor Planet Project live, through which, astronomers and skywatchers can help the space agency discover new asteroids and track them in new data sets. But why do we need to track them? According to NASA, some of these ancient space rocks present a potential threat of collision with Earth while others can be helpful in discovering secrets of space. Although asteroids are located far away in space, mainly in the asteroid belt, they often make close approaches to Earth, passing the planet at close distances.
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