NASA asteroid tracker: Look up as 174ft asteroid shoots past Earth TOMORROW | Science | News


The , nicknamed by NASA Asteroid 2019 ES, will pass the planet on a so-called “Earth Close Approach”. NASA expects the asteroid to shoot by around 7.44am GMT (2.44am EST) on Saturday, March 16. As the space rock flies by, it will reach breakneck speeds of more than 15,680mph (25,234kph). Thankfully, the risk of Asteroid ES slamming into the Earth tomorrow is minimal.

Even at its closest, astronomers at ’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) believe it will miss Earth by more than two million miles (3.4 million km).

The close-shave will unfold tomorrow because Asteroid ES is a “Near-Earth Object” or NEO.

NEOs are all comets and asteroids on orbital paths which cut into the Earth’s own orbit of the Sun.

As they hurtle through space at varying speeds and sizes, NEOs sometimes come dangerously close to the Earth.

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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.”

Tomorrow, the JPL estimates Asteroid ES will approach Earth from a distance of 0.02317 astronomical units.

One astronomical unit describes the distance from the Earth to the Sun and measures approximately 93 million miles (149.6 million km).

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Asteroid ES will trim this incredible distance down to just 2.15 million miles (3.46 million km).

In more Earthly terms, this is roughly nine times the distance to the Moon from Earth.

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NASA’s JPL also estimates the asteroid measures somewhere in the range of 78.7ft to 173.8ft (24m to 53m) across.

At the higher end of the size estimate, the asteroid is about 6.3 times as long as a London double-decker bus.

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Even if the asteroid proves to be smaller, it is still big than 12 Twin Size beds lined up in a row.

After the asteroid passes the Earth, it is not expected to pay any visits to our planet in the foreseeable future.

According to NASA’s JPL, the rock will shoot past Mars on January 12, 2028.

And orbital calculations into the past show Asteroid ES approached the Earth before on February 10, 2014, and March 4, 1970.



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