Silicate asteroid bigger than Empire State Building racing towards Earth
NASA has revealed details of a shocking upcoming encounter with an asteroid. This space rock is bigger than New York’s Empire State Building! Check details of the close approach.
Every year on June 30, we celebrate World Asteroid Day. This day commemorates the anniversary of the Tunguska event, which is the largest asteroid strike in recorded history. On June 30, 1908, a carbonaceous asteroid crashed in Yeniseysk Governorate, Russia, and it decimated nearly 2150 square kilometers of forest area and scored the ground. This resulting explosion was recorded at almost 12 megatons. David Morrison, a planetary science researcher at the NASA Ames Research Center termed it as the “largest cosmic event ever witnessed by humans”.
In a separate event, NASA has now issued details about an asteroid's incoming approach this month, which is absolutely colossal!
Asteroid 1988 EG: Details
The asteroid, designated as Asteroid 1988 EG by the Minor Planet Center (MPC), was discovered on March 12, 1988, by American astronomer Jeff T. Alu at the U.S. Palomar Observatory, California. It has been classified as a near-Earth Object as well as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid by NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies due to its close distance of approach as well as its enormous size.
The asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth on August 23, and on that day it will pass by a distance of about 6 million kilometers. It is already rushing towards Earth, traveling at a speed of about 51309 kilometers per hour, which is much faster than a hypersonic ballistic missile!
According to NASA, Asteroid 1988 EG is an S-type asteroid, which is a less common category of asteroids made up mainly of silicate minerals. This space rock takes almost 523 days to orbit the Sun and during this period, its maximum distance around the Sun is 285 million kilometers, while the minimum distance is 95 million kilometers.
Is it dangerous?
NASA has revealed that this asteroid is almost as big as a skyscraper, with a width of between 1410 and 3149 feet. That means it is even bigger than the Empire State Building in New York!
It has been added to NASA's Close Approaches list and has also been declared as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid due to its close distance of approach as well as its enormous size.
Asteroid 1988 EG 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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