It wasn’t enough that COVID-19 pandemic is trying to kill us, now NASA’s Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies or CNEOS has reported that on 21st March and 23rd March, a total of fourasteroids will be approaching Earth and are expected to fly really close to our planet.
The four asteroids have been named by CNEOS as 2020 FK, 2020 FS, 2020 DP4 and 2020 FFI. the FK is the smallest of the lot, which is just 43 feet in diameter. It is coming towards our planet at a speed of over 37,000 kilometres per hour and will pass by at a distance of 1.36 million kilometres.
The 2020 FS is slightly larger, with a diameter of 56 feet and is travelling at a relatively lower speed of just 15,000 kilometres per hour. It will be the farthest asteroid to fly by earth at around 3.05 million kilometres away. The 2020 FK flew by our planet at 9:35 AM IST, whereas the 2020 FS will pass by around 8:59 PM IST.
On 23rd March, we’ll see the 2020 DP4 make its approach towards Earth. It is the largest of the lot with a diameter of 180 feet. It will be flying at a distance that’s 1.35 million kilometres away from Earth at a speed of 29,000 kilometres per hour, so there’s nothing to really worry about.
The 2020 FFI, on the other hand, is the second smallest of the lot, with a diameter of 48 feet. Oddly enough, it is the fastest of the lot, travelling at a speed of 47,000 kilometres per hour.
Moreover, it will also be the closest one Earth at just around 7,13,000 kilometre away. The 2020 DP4 will pass by on 12:04 AM IST whereas 2020 FFI will pass by at around 3:39 AM IST.
There’s no need to worry
If you’re concerned about any of the four asteroids impacting earth, worry not. None of the four asteroids are going to come anywhere close to the earth’s surface — the nearest anyone is coming to earth is at a distance of 7.13 lakh kilometre away. For reference, when it’s at its closest to earth, the moon is just over 3.6 lakh kilometre away — which places the nearest of the four asteroids almost twice that distance away at 7.13 lakh kilometre.
Even last year, European Space Agency initially gave a 1-in-7000 chance of an approaching asteroid impacting earth in September 2019, which they later said would miss — it indeed missed the earth completely. Almost the entire world won’t even know the passage of these current four asteroids, apart from amateur and professional astronomers keeping track. So
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