60-foot asteroid to pass Earth by 1.03 mn km, reveals NASA; Know how fast it is approaching

NASA says as many as four asteroids passed Earth yesterday, with the biggest of them being nearly 140 feet wide, which is comparable to an aircraft in size. These close approaches by Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) like asteroids serve as a reminder of the constant threat posed by celestial objects and why it is crucial to monitor their trajectories. Using its advanced space and ground-based telescopes, NASA has revealed that another asteroid is expected to fly past Earth tomorrow, March 22. Know all about this close encounter.

Also Read: Asteroid Bennu samples collected by NASA have building blocks of life!

Asteroid 2024 FK1: Details

According to NASA, this asteroid is just one of the many present in the main asteroid belt, located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The Center for Near-Earth Object Studies or CNEOS has designated it as Asteroid 2024 FK1. It is expected to pass Earth by a margin of 1.03 million kilometers tomorrow.

The space agency further revealed that the asteroid is travelling around the Sun in its orbit at a menacing speed of approximately 27031 kilometers per hour. This is even faster than an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM)!

NASA says the asteroid belongs to the Aten group of asteroids, which are Earth-crossing Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) with semi-major axes smaller than Earth’s. They are named after the asteroid 2062 Aten and the first of its kind was discovered by American astronomer Eleanor Helin at Palomar Observatory on January 7, 1976.

Also Read: Aircraft-sized asteroid set to pass Earth by a close margin

How big is it?

The asteroid is almost 60 feet wide in terms of size. Thus, it can be compared to a house. Although it will pass Earth closely, NASA says there is no need to worry as it is not expected to impact Earth or cause any potential damage. That said, it has still been designated as a Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) due to its close proximity during its closest approach.

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