This weekend you will observe a potentially dangerous asteroid from near-orbit of Earth. The space rock that is coming towards our planet is bigger than the Empire state-building. Thankfully we are not in the potential line of danger here. The asteroids will be passing by a distance of almost 5 million kilometers away from our planet.
However, according to NASA, there are going to be 3 more asteroids passing by right after that. This takes the total to 4 asteroids. The asteroid 163348 (2002 NN4) is going to travel at a velocity of 11,140 kilometers/hour. All of the asteroids are going to pass by our planet on June 6, 2020. Apparently the research shows that 2002 NN4 is a very “small asteroid” which will pass by very close to the earth. The space rock measures 0.258 to 0.572 kilometers in diameter making it larger than the Empire State Building in New York.
潜在的に危険な #小惑星 (PHA)アテン型の(163348)=2002 NN4が2020年6月6日に地心から約511万km(月迄の距離の13倍)まで近づきます. この天体は2002年7月9日に米国,ニューメキシコのLincoln Observatory ETSで発見されたもので推定直径は250-570mです. https://t.co/77MveSCLKdhttps://t.co/f3LygyjTdM pic.twitter.com/ruqdZxJuss
— Atsuo ASAMI 浅見敦夫 (@AsamiAtsuo) May 24, 2020
Asteroid larger than the Empire State Building
Even though the space rock is small, it is still larger than almost 90% of the other ones. the incoming 2002 NN4 asteroid falls under the category of Aten-class Asteroids. This falls under both, Near Earth Asteroids (NEA) and Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHA). Though 163348 is a small asteroid it is still dangerous for our planet if it was to collide. NASA JPL reports the 2002 NN4 asteroid to be a PHA and claims it will pass very close to Earth.
Scientists are trying to predict numerous close approaches of asteroids with our planet Earth. Right now researchers have access to data of 30 such NEA’s, which showcases a return of the same asteroids. 2002 NN4 will return again after 9 years. Let us know what you have to say about this in the comments section below!
Suryapratim Ray is an engineer, author, robotics hobbyist, and an active Quoran. Being a technical blogger, he covers the good, bad, and ugly of science on a regular basis at Sciencenews18. In addition to his passion for writing, he’s equally keen on learning classical music.