‘Potentially Hazardous’ Asteroid Will Zoom Past Earth on September 1 and it Will be Closer Than Moon

Image for representative purposes only / News18.

Image for representative purposes only / News18.

At its closest approach, the asteroid will be 1.2 lakh km away. It means the asteroid will be closer to Earth than the Moon, which is 3.84 lakh km away from our home planet.

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  • Last Updated: August 31, 2020, 9:02 AM IST

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An asteroid with diameters between 22 and 49 metres will pass by Earth on Tuesday, NASA has said.

At its closest approach, the asteroid will be 1.2 lakh km away. It means the asteroid will be closer to Earth than the Moon, which is 3.84 lakh km away from our home planet.


Ruling out a possible threat, the US space agency said that the space rock will not hit Earth.

“Will #asteroid 2011 ES4 hit Earth? No! 2011 ES4’s close approach is ‘close’ on an astronomical scale but poses no danger of actually hitting Earth,” NASA Asteroid Watch posted Saturday on its Twitter account.

“#PlanetaryDefense experts expect it to safely pass by at least 45,000 miles (792,000 football fields) away on Tuesday Sept. 1,” it added.

NASA estimates the asteroid’s relative speed at around 8.16 km per second, Xinhua reported.

The last time asteroid 2011 ES4 flew by Earth, it was visible from ground for four days.

This time, it will be closer to our planet than before.

Also Read: Comet, Asteroid or Meteor? Difference Between the Celestial Bodies as They All Visit Earth in 2020

The asteroid, listed as “potentially hazardous”, was first discovered in the spring of 2011 and passes by Earth every nine years.

A “potentially hazardous asteroid” is currently defined based on parameters that measure the asteroid’s potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth, according to NASA.

Earlier, the US space agency had predicted that a small asteroid heading towards the Earth has a 0.41 percent chance of hitting the planet one day before the US presidential election that is scheduled for November 3.

Also Read: An Asteroid Will Zoom Past Earth in September and it Will be Closer Than the Moon

NASA scientists predicted that the asteroid “2018VP1” with a diameter of 0.002 km (about 6.5 feet) will pass near Earth one day before the 2020 US election.

It was first identified at Palomar Observatory in California in 2018.

NASA said there are three potential impacts. But “based on 21 observations spanning 12.968 days,” the US space agency has determined the asteroid probably won’t have a deep impact.


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