An aircraft-sized asteroid could make its closest trip to Earth soon. NASA reveals its distance, trajectory and speed.
Scientists believe that asteroids are left over debris from the formation of our solar system and can provide valuable information about the early stages of planetary development. Some asteroids, known as near-Earth asteroids, can come close to our planet, raising concerns about the potential for collision. However, NASA and other space agencies actively track these asteroids and have systems in place to detect and deflect any potential threats.
NASA estimates an asteroid would have to be at least 96 kilometers wide to be considered as a planet-killer. But it doesn’t mean we should completely ignore all the alerts issued by the space agency. The small asteroids are still capable of causing localized destruction if they impact the surface. NASA has now warned that an asteroid is on its way towards Earth.
Asteroid 2020 BP details
The asteroid, named Asteroid 2020 BP, will make its closest approach to Earth tomorrow, January 19, at a distance of 3.5 million kilometers. According to NASA, the space rock is on its way towards the planet travelling at a speed of nearly 62084 kilometers per hour, which is more than the speed of a hypersonic ballistic missile! NASA estimates this asteroid to be nearly 80 feet wide, making it as big as an aircraft.
According to the-sky.org, the Asteroid 2020 BP belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. It was discovered on January 18, 2020. This asteroid takes 1089 days to complete one trip around the Sun during which its maximum distance from the Sun is 508 million kilometers and nearest distance is 111 million kilometers.
Did you know?
According to NASA, the orbits of asteroids can be changed by Jupiter’s massive gravity and by occasional close encounters with planets like Mars or other objects. These accidental encounters can knock asteroids out of the main belt, and hurl them into space in all directions across the orbits of the other planets.