Asteroid Bigger Than the London Eye to Zoom Past Earth on 24 July, Says NASA

File image of an artist's illustration of asteroids approaching Earth. (Image: Getty Images)

File image of an artist’s illustration of asteroids approaching Earth. (Image: Getty Images)

Asteroid 2020ND will come within just 0.034 astronomical units (AU) or 5,086,327 kilometres of Earth. It is moving at a speed of 48,000 kilometres per hour.

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  • Last Updated: July 18, 2020, 5:02 PM IST

Approaching of asteroids towards Earth is not a very uncommon event. But such events catch attention when the space rock moving past our planet is of enormous size.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has announced that a space rock almost 1.5 times the size of the London Eye will make its closest approach to Earth on 24 July, reported Express.

The report further added that the asteroid will come within just 0.034 astronomical units (AU) or 5,086,327 kilometres of Earth. It is moving at a speed of 48,000 kilometres per hour.

According to Mirror, the US space agency has described the asteroid as “potentially hazardous”.

It has been named 2020ND and is 170m tall.

“Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are currently defined based on parameters that measure the asteroid’s potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth,” Mirror reported quoting NASA.

Space rocks having a minimum orbit intersection distance (MOID) of 0.05 AU or less are considered PHAs.

The asteroid could have been pushed by the gravity of other planets into an orbit that will send it into Earth’s region of space.

As per Lancaster Guardian, the 2020ND’s proximity gives it a status of Near Earth Object (NEO).

It reported that the space rock is not expected to collide with our planet. However, according to NASA, there is a one in 300,000 chance every year that an asteroid with a potential to cause regional damage will strike.

Humans will not be able to see this space rock with naked eyes and even those with relatively powerful telescopes may not view it.

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