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A Huge Asteroid is Coming Close to our Earth This Week - NASA Warns

A Huge Asteroid is Coming Close to our Earth- NASA Warns

A huge asteroid is making its way toward Earth and it will pass by our planet next week. Dubbed as Asteroid 2020 ND, it is classified as Near-Earth Object (NEO) and Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) by NASA. 

It is estimated to be 160 metres or 520 feet in diameter but there is no cause to worry, as it will safely fly past Earth, as it has done at least five times before as per NASA records. It won't be the asteroid's first-time visiting Earth as it maintains an orbit around the Sun that makes it come close to both Earth and Mars every once in a while.

As per NASA data, the Asteroid 2020 ND's first recorded approach to Earth was on July 17, 1945, and it has since passed by the planet four more times and will now cross us again on July 24, 2020. After July 24, it is set to blow past Earth in 2035, then 2074, and then 2145 and so on.

NASA doesn't consider Asteroid 2020 ND a key scientific target. That designation is reserved for asteroids like 101955 Bennu, 10199 Chariklo, 16 Psyche, 243 Ida, 25143 Itokawa, 253 Mathilde, 433 Eros, and 4 Vesta.

In fact, the two objects – known as 2016 DY30 and 2020 ME3 – will be further away than the Moon, even at their closest point to Earth.

After that, they will carry on our into the rest of our solar system, as they continue their journey around our neighbourhood.

Because the objects could come relatively close to Earth as they continue their journey, they are given the designation near-Earth objects, and "Potentially Hazardous Asteroids" or PHAs. But it is important to note that the "potentially hazardous" part of that description is related to their journeys in the future, not this flyby, which will happen at a distance so safe that the objects will not be visible, let alone threatening.

The bigger of the two objects is 2020ND, which is 170-metres across and so has been described as being roughly 150 per cent of the London Eye. While that would make it a relatively big object on the Earth, it is not notably large for an asteroid.

It will come within roughly 0.034 AU, or about five million kilometres, of Earth. That is much further away than the Moon, which is an average of 500,000 kilometres away.

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