Asteroid Possibly the Size of Empire State Building will Zoom Past Earth This Weekend
Earth is just a tiny sphere in the cosmos and our 'home' is subject to space rocks whizzing by us every day…some are bigger than others…much bigger, and a few of them are flying by Earth this month.
This weekend, asteroid 163348 (2002 NN4) is the first of THREE asteroids that will make a ‘Close Approach’ to Earth in June.
At its closest, (on Friday night) the asteroid will still be over three million miles away from Earth. According to NASA, it could have a diameter anywhere from 800 to 1800 feet – so anywhere from the size of 2.5 football fields or it could be bigger than the Empire State Building.
No need to worry. Even at its closet point it will still be around 13x farther away than we are from the moon. But in the year 2130, this asteroid could get REAL CLOSE – it’s predicted to zoom by less than 700,000 miles away from Earth. That’s less than the distance from Earth to the Moon.
On Monday (6/8), ANOTHER asteroid, 2013 XA22, will get a LOT closer than its predecessor, under two million miles away at its closet point and it’s traveling through space around 15,000 MPH. It’s about the size of the Pentagon. In, 2028, it will be closer to us, just 1.7 million miles from Earth.
Then, another asteroid, 2010 NY65, will swing by Earth on June 24. At its closest point, it will only be around 2.3 million miles from Earth. (farther away than when it flew by Earth in June, 2019) This asteroid could have a diameter as big as 1,000 feet (roughly 2.5 football fields) but it’s also going the fastest of the three asteroids, around 29,000 MPH.
“If a comet or asteroid's approach brings it to within 1.3 astronomical units of the sun, we call it a near-Earth object. [One astronomical unit is close to the mean distance between the sun and Earth – approximately 93 million miles]