Huge asteroid, 3x of Statue of Liberty, to fly by close to Earth tonight
Asteroids keep swinging past the Earth. Though they have not caused any damage grave damage recently, but some come so close to the Earth that fears of mass carnage are instantly raised. These asteroids are classified as ‘potentially hazardous' by the US space agency NASA. Now, one such asteroid -- Asteroid 2021 NY1 -- will fly by the Earth at a dangerously close distance tonight.
Before we get to know more about asteroid 2021 NY1, let's first understand what asteroids are. As NASA explains it, asteroids are rocky, airless space objects that were left over from the early formation of our solar system about 4.6 billion years ago. They were formed alongside planets, moons, comets and other celestial bodies. Although asteroids orbit the Sun like planets, they are very much smaller than planets and hence are classified differently.
There are a lot of asteroids in our solar system, most of which are located in the asteroid belt, which is located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Apart from the asteroid belt, asteroids are also found in front of and at the back of Jupiter. These asteroids are called Trojan asteroids. Some of these Trojan asteroids come close to the Earth and so they are called Near Earth Objects or NEOs. NASA keeps a close watch on NEOs.
What will be the distance between the asteroid 2021 NY1 and the Earth at its closest point? Asteroid 2021 NY1 will pass within about 120 million miles (193 million kilometers) of the Sun from the earth. At that distance, the asteroid 2021 NY1 will make a relatively close approach of about 1,560,000 km away from Earth, which is almost under four times the distance between Earth and the moon. That is how close this dangerous asteroid will come to the Earth.
Asteroid 2021 NY1 details: As far as the details are concerned, Asteroid 2021 NY1 measures between about 130 to 300 meters, which is a little over three times the size of the Statue of Liberty. The asteroid 2021 NY1 is cruising through space at a speed of about 33,800 km/h, which is roughly 27 times the speed of sound.
What time will asteroid 2021 NY1 fly by Earth? It will fly by the earth at the fall equinox at about 12 hours of daylight, 12 hours of night.