Apollo group asteroid set to pass Earth by just 622,000 km, reveals NASA! Know how big it is | Tech News

Apollo group asteroid set to pass Earth by just 622,000 km, reveals NASA! Know how big it is

An Apollo asteroid is predicted to pass Earth at its closest distance in orbit today, March 14. From size, speed to distance of approach, know all about the asteroid.

| Updated on: Mar 15 2024, 10:08 IST
NASA reveals 5 asteroids set to come near Earth; Check speed, size and more
1/5 Asteroid 2024 EA2: NASA says asteroid 2024 EA2 will pass by Earth by a close margin on March 10, 2024. The asteroid is nearly 36 feet wide and it is moving at the speed of 39630 kilometers per hour. It is expected to come as close as 1.2 million kilometres to the Earth. (NASA)
2/5 Asteroid 2024 EE2: This asteroid is expected to fly past Earth on March 10, 2024, with an approximate distance of 5.3 million kilometres. Asteroid 2024 2024 EE2 is 120 feet wide and it is moving at a speed of 67291 kilometers per hour.  (Pixabay)
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3/5 Asteroid 2024 DA1: The next space rock is the Asteroid 2024 DA1. It is said to be 150 feet wide and it is speculated to come close to Earth on March 11, 2024. Currently, the asteroid is moving at a speed of 35802 kilometres per hour and it will pass Earth at 3.6 million kilometres.  (Pixels)
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4/5 Asteroid 2024 EG2: NASA says asteroid 2024 EG2 is 76 feet wide and it will fly past Earth on March 12, 2024. The asteroid is moving at a relative speed of 70509 kilometres per hour. The asteroid EG2 is said to come as close as 6.4 million kilometers to Earth.  (Pixabay)
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5/5 Asteroid 2015 FM34: The last asteroid on NASA's list is Asteroid 2015 FM34, which is estimated to be 350 feet wide. The asteroid is travelling at 39837 kilometres per hour and will have a near encounter with Earth on March 12, 2024. It will come as close as7.4 million kilometres to Earth. (Pixabay)
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Asteroid 2024 EK3 belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs), as per NASA. (Pexels)

In the last few weeks, numerous asteroids have passed Earth at close distances. The orbits of these space rocks bring them close enough to the planet to be monitored by space agencies such as NASA and ESA. Their approaches are monitored to minimize any uncertainties around their trajectory and to eliminate the risk of impact. Asteroids are monitored with the help of ground and space-based telescopes and satellites, such as the NEOWISE telescope, Pans-STARRS1 in Maui, and Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona. With the aid of these tech marvels, NASA has revealed details about an Apollo asteroid that is expected to pass Earth at a very close distance today, March 15.

Also Read: Aircraft-sized space rock will pass Earth closely, reveals NASA

Asteroid 2024 EK3: Details of close approach

NASA says the asteroid was observed and tracked by an organization called the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies or CNEOS. This organization is responsible for monitoring the skies and keeping a watch on asteroids and comets, celestial objects which are known as Near-Earth Objects (NEOs). 

The asteroid passing Earth today has been designated Asteroid 2024 EK3, and it is just one of the two space rocks that will come close to the planet, with the other one being Asteroid 2020 FU. This near-Earth space rock is expected to make its closest approach to the planet at a distance of just 662,000 kilometers! That is less than twice the distance of the Moon from Earth!

NASA says the asteroid is already moving towards Earth at a breakneck speed of approximately 24623 kilometers per hour, which is almost as fast as an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM)! The asteroid is just 19 feet wide, which makes it as big as a car. It is important to note that although it will come close to Earth, Asteroid 2024 EK3 has not been predicted to impact the surface.

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

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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First Published Date: 15 Mar, 10:07 IST