Oh, what now!? Newfound asteroid the size of a house will fly by Earth on Wednesday
Asteroid 2020 GH2 will pass Earth at 19,000 miles per hour and was only discovered on Saturday April 11. With a diameter of between 43 and 70 feet (13-70 meters) wide, GH2 could inflict significant damage were it to crash into our planet. Mercifully, however, it will miss Earth, flying by at a distance of 223,000 miles (359,000 kilometers).
For context, the average lunar distance from Earth is 239,000 miles (385,000 km). For an asteroid to pose a clear and present danger to us, it would need to come within the range of geostationary weather satellites, which operate at a distance of about 22,000 miles (35,000 km) from Earth.
Dr Kelly Fast of NASA’s Asteroid Watch gave a novel demonstration –from her home– of the threat level involved in these close-approach asteroid events.
Asteroid close approaches happen sometimes, but just how "close" is a close approach? Do this #NASAatHome activity with Dr. Kelly Fast from NASA's #PlanetaryDefense Coordination Office (PDCO) to find out!More about NASA’s PDCO: https://t.co/pxKEMkVdRzQuestions? Use #askNASApic.twitter.com/fkHPLEK17z— NASA Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) March 31, 2020
Ever-vigilant stargazers are awaiting yet another close flyby on April 29, when asteroid 1998 OR2, which boasts a diameter of between two and four kilometers, is expected to buzz Earth at a safe distance of 3.9 million miles (6.2 million km).
At any given moment, NASA is tracking somewhere in the region of 20,000 near-Earth asteroids, but more are discovered all the time.Also on rt.com No aliens but massive destruction: Study offers theory about ORIGIN of mysterious interstellar visitor ‘Oumuamua
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