Asteroid news: NASA tracks three rocks flying past Earth at 18,000mph – Will they hit? | Science | News

The trio will close-in on Earth’s location on what is known as an “Earth close approach” trajectory. predicts the three asteroids to arrive in our corner of on Saturday, October 19. One of the asteroids will fly by at speeds of nearly 18,000mph (28,968kph).

What do we know about the NASA-tracked asteroids?

NASA has dubbed all three asteroids Near-Earth Objects or NEOs.

Organisations like NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) keep a watchful eye on NEOs passing close to Earth.

NEOs are all comets and asteroids whose orbits approach Earth’s path around the Sun.

NASA said: “An NEO includes any asteroid, meteoroid or comet orbiting the Sun within 18,600,000 miles – 30 million km – of Earth’s orbit.”

Out of the 829,361 known asteroids and 3,592 known comets in the system, more than 20,000 space rocks are ranked as NEOs.


Asteroid 2019 TG7

The second asteroid to approach Earth is the Apollo-type rock 2019 TG7.

Will any of the asteroids hit the planet on Saturday?

Despite the three space rocks making close approaches to Earth, none of them will come close enough to threaten our homeworld.

The closest of the three asteroids will be 2019 TK5 at a distance of about 0.00640 astronomical units (au).

One astronomical unit measures the distance between the Earth and the Sun or about 93 million miles (149.6 million km).

In other words, the asteroid will cut this down to just 594,917 miles (957,426 km).

NASA said: “As they orbit the Sun, Near-Earth Objects can occasionally approach close to Earth.

“Note that a ‘close’ passage astronomically can be very far away in human terms: millions or even tens of millions of kilometres.”

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