May 21: huge asteroid flies over the Earth

(ORDO NEWS) — An asteroid larger than one kilometer will fly past Earth this week. It was discovered by NASA‘s ground tracking services. At the moment, agency experts confirm that despite the close enough span, the asteroid is not dangerous for planet Earth.

The asteroid, code-named 136795 (BQ 1997), moves around the Sun along a trajectory that will bring it to a distance of “close proximity” to the Earth. Today, NASA tracks dozens of so-called near-Earth objects (OZO), which monthly approach the Earth, but, as a rule, rarely cause any concern.

Nevertheless, the asteroid BQ is the largest space rock that will fly over our planet since last July. The very presence of such an object is designed to remind people of the potential dangers lurking in deep space.

Tomorrow night (May 21), the asteroid BQ will approach the Earth as close as possible. He will fly at a distance of about 0.04115 astronomical units (au). In other words, tomorrow the asteroid will fly at a distance of about 6.15 million kilometers above the Earth’s surface, which is 16 times greater than the distance to the moon.

This large cosmic rock was first discovered in the solar system in 1997 and was last observed on February 15, 2020. Based on the brightness of the asteroid, astronomers estimate its size somewhere between 668 and 1.4 kilometers in diameter.

And although, according to today’s data, the asteroid does not pose a threat to the Earth either now or in the near future. The danger of a collision of the Earth with a similar object can lead to a global catastrophe.

According to NASA, any strike element larger than one kilometer can have a catastrophic effect on the entire planet. Such asteroids are called “potentially dangerous” objects. These include asteroids whose length is more than 140 meters, and the distance to the Earth varies within 0.05au.

At the moment, the asteroid BQ is racing in space at a speed of about 11.68 km / s. Despite the fact that tomorrow the asteroid will safely pass by our planet, NASA’s orbital calculations show that the rock will continue to visit the Earth’s orbit until 2191.


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