Two asteroids zip by the earth this week

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies have announced two space rocks made a remarkably close approach to earth this week.

Source : NASA

On September 14, 2020, two asteroids come very close without creating any threat to the blue planet

The first one was a bus size asteroid called 2020 RF3 and the other one was a car-size asteroid called 2020 RD4.

The asteroid 2020 RF3 belongs to the Aten group of asteroids and has a diameter of 17-39 feet. It made its closest approach to our earth at 06.49 GMT at a distance of 0.24 LD that is 58,562 miles with a velocity of 17.16 km/s.

Followed by 2020 RF3 another asteroid 2020 RD4 made a similar pass by. It also comes under the same classification of Aten with a size of about 21 feet made its closest approach of 0.28 LD which means 65,998 miles with a velocity of 10.21 km/s. it whizzed by our planet at 20.33 GMT.

Italy’s Virtual Telescope Project captured the images of both the space rocks and also hosted a live stream for this event.

Everyday space bombards us with around 100 tons of dust and sands. Car sized asteroids make it to our atmosphere about once a year. They burn up in the mesosphere, never reaching the earth’s surface. The massive 10 km wide life-threatening rocks like the one that wiped out all the dinosaurs, don’t come back too often maybe once every few million years. Then once we do have to worry about are the asteroids with the size of the football field. That makes it to the earth’s surface. The good thing is we have an atmosphere to protect us from most of the asteroids, and NASA to keep eye on all the space rocks flying around us. The bad thing is it’s sometimes hard to detect the incoming rock until it’s too late.


Anjaly Thomas

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