NASA’s asteroid hunters have identified another five closing flybys due this week, but even more worryingly, they have also identified a spacecraft that will soon pass between Earth and the moon.
In very alarming news from NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), asteroid hunters have identified a “potentially dangerous” asteroid due to pass the Earth in September at a quiet distance of 71,805 km – just a fifth of the distance between us and the moon (384,399 km).
Asteroid 2011 ES4, measuring 160 feet (49 meters), is expected to buzz the Earth at 29,375 km / h on September 1 at 10:49 am EDT (3:49 pm BST).
Given its somewhat small diameter, although it would deviate from the course and actually strike us, it would not be the end of life as we know it, although it would certainly pack a punch.
For that matter, the Chelyabinsk meteor that exploded above Russia on February 1
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It exploded with up to 33 times the energy released from the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. About 1,491 people were injured in the incident, mostly from debris such as broken glass or from burns on the skin due to the brightness of the explosion, which was 30 times more intense than the sun.
At least 112 must be hospitalized immediately after the incident, two in serious condition.
So in the unlikely event that ES4 2011, nearly three times the size of the Chelyabinsk meteor, would take a detour and visit us even closer than expected, the damage could potentially be significant.
Meanwhile, on Monday, two asteroids measuring at least 30 meters, 2020 KJ7 (30m, about half of the inclined tower in Pisa) and 2009 OS5 (42m, or half the size of the Statue of Liberty) will pass us at a distance of 4.5 million and 6.75 million kilometers respectively.
On Tuesday, the asteroid 2020 MQ2 (42m), which measures five London buses in diameter, will pass us at 6.4 million kilometers, followed on Thursday by NM 2020 (21m or one and a half times the height of the Hollywood sign), which will shoot past us at a safe distance of four million kilometers.
Picking up the rear on Friday will be the Arc de Triomphe-sized 2020 MX (48m), which will fly by at 5.6 million kilometers and end another week with relatively close calls for our home planet.
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