4 Asteroids To Zip Past Earth Wednesday

KEY POINTS

  • Four asteroids will safely fly past Earth on Wednesday
  • The largest of the four asteroids is about as tall as the Arc de Triomphe in France
  • None of the near-Earth asteroids are included in the European Space Agency’s Risk List

Four asteroids will safely fly by Earth this Wednesday, according to NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS). One of the near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) to zip by is estimated to be as tall as the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, which stands at 160 feet.

CNEOS’ Close Approach Data Table revealed that the first asteroid will make its flyby at a distance of 960,000 miles away from Earth on Wednesday at 2:10 a.m. EDT.

The NEA, identified as 2020 TR5, has a diameter of 108 feet — about twice the height of the Hollywood sign in California, which stands at 49 feet. This Apollo asteroid will safely pass by the planet at a speed of 5 miles per second.

After the first asteroid, the second NEA, 2020 TS5, will enter Earth’s vicinity and zip by the planet at 5:49 a.m. EDT. The space rock is estimated to have a diameter of 111 feet, about the same size as 2020 TR5, according to CNEOS’ data.

Aside from its size, 2020 TS5 also shares the same classification as 2020 TR5. Both belong to the Apollo family of asteroids due to their Earth-crossing orbits, which intersect that of the planet’s at a certain point. 

The third, and also the largest, asteroid to make its flyby on Oct. 28 is 2020 UN1 — a 160 feet NEA that will zoom past Earth at 8:13 a.m. EDT. Despite its size, the asteroid is not on the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Risk List, which means it is not expected to hit Earth during its upcoming flyby.

The asteroid 2020 UN1 will be flying by Earth at a distance of 981,000 miles away from the planet’s surface. Its next close approach will happen 13 years from now on Oct. 15, 2033.

The last of the four asteroids to make its way to Earth’s vicinity on Wednesday is 2020 TM7. Only slightly smaller in size than 2020 UN1, this NEA has a diameter of 150 feet. An asteroid this big would be as tall as the Chicago Water Tower in Illinois, which stands at 154 feet.

The asteroid 2020 TM7 will be zipping by at 10:38 a.m. EDT at a distance of around 1.2 million miles away from Earth.

None of the asteroids have been included in the ESA Risk List.

Asteroid Russia developing technologies to blast incoming asteroids. Pictured, an artist’s conception showing how families of asteroids are created. Over the history of our solar system, catastrophic collisions between asteroids located in the belt between Mars and Jupiter have formed families of objects on similar orbits around the sun. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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4 Tiny Asteroids Headed Towards Earth, Will Zip By On Wednesday

KEY POINTS

  • Four asteroids will be making their way past Earth on Wednesday
  • The biggest one has a diameter of 111ft.
  • Only 2020 UY is currently in ESA Risk List

A total of four asteroids are expected to make their close approaches with Earth Wednesday and all of them have been included in the European Space Agency’s Priority List.

Four tiny asteroids will be zipping past the planet, data from NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) revealed. First in line is 2020 UY, which will make its close approach at 12:24 a.m. EDT. It will fly past the planet at a distance of 217,000 miles from its surface.

This 31-foot Near-Earth Asteroid is about half as long as a cricket pitch and is expected to fly by at a speed of 4mps, according to CNEOS’ Close Approach Data Table. The said NEA is also included in ESA’s Risk List and its Priority List, and is expected to have its next Earth close approach on Nov. 21, 2027.

Following closely will be 2020 US. This NEA will make its flyby at 2:35 a.m. EDT. at a distance of 506,000 miles from the planet. It has a diameter of 69 ft. and will only make its next close contact with Earth after 53 years, in 2073. The said NEA is currently not included in the ESA’s Risk List.

Once daylight breaks, 2020 TM6 is then set to zip by Earth at a distance of 2,000,000 miles. Considered to be the largest of the bunch, 2020 TM6 has a diameter of 111 ft. This NEA, as well as the first two asteroids, is classified as an Apollo asteroid due to its Earth-crossing orbit. This means that at a certain point, its orbit intersects with the Earth’s, thus making close contacts with the planet more likely to happen. Fortunately, 2020 TM6 hasn’t been included in the ESA Risk List.

Capping off the day’s asteroid flyby would be 2018 VG, an asteroid discovered two years ago. The 65-foot NEA will be making its way past the planet more than 3,000,000 miles away. A London double-decker bus, which measures 28 feet, would have to fall in line two and a half times to get a picture of 2018 VG’s diameter. At 11:41 a.m. EDT, this NEA will be zipping by at a speed of 4 mps.

An artistic rendition of Osiris-Rex approaching the asteroid Bennu An artistic rendition of Osiris-Rex approaching the asteroid Bennu Photo: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University / Handout

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