Aircraft-sized asteroid set to pass Earth by a close margin today, reveals NASA; Check details | Tech News

Aircraft-sized asteroid set to pass Earth by a close margin today, reveals NASA; Check details

NASA says as many as four asteroids have been predicted to pass Earth today, March 20, and one of them is as big as an aircraft! Know all about this close encounter with an aircraft-sized asteroid.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Mar 20 2024, 10:23 IST
Asteroid
Asteroid 2024 EY3 belongs to the Aten group of Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs), as per NASA. (Pixabay)
Asteroid
Asteroid 2024 EY3 belongs to the Aten group of Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs), as per NASA. (Pixabay)

In the last few days, we've seen numerous asteroids come close to Earth. Just yesterday, as many as four space rocks passed the planet by a close margin. Although none of them impacted the surface, their close approaches are a reminder of the need to constantly monitor these asteroids for potential impact scenarios. This job falls to NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies or CNEOS, an organization that keeps an eye on Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) such as asteroids and comets. With the help of its advanced tech, NASA says an aircraft-sized asteroid is expected to pass by Earth today, March 20. Know all about this close encounter.

Also Read: Building-sized asteroid to pass Earth soon

Asteroid 2024 EY3

CNEOS has designated this asteroid as Asteroid 2024 EY3. It is just one of the four asteroids that have been predicted to pass the planet today, with the other ones being 2024 FD1, 2024 EZ3, and 2024 EQ3. During its close approach, the asteroid will pass the planet at a distance of just 4.5 million kilometers.

At present, the asteroid is travelling in its orbit around the Sun at a speed of approximately 41825 kilometers per hour, which is faster than an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM)! The space agency has further revealed that 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.

Also Read: What are asteroids and how ESA is tracking them

How big is it?

In terms of size, Asteroid 2024 EY3 can be compared to an aircraft! NASA says that it has a width of almost 140 feet. While it will come close to the planet, it is not expected to impact the surface and pose a danger to life and property.

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First Published Date: 20 Mar, 10:23 IST
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