Bus-sized asteroid to pass Earth by a close margin, says NASA; Know speed, size and more

Throughout the first two months of 2024, we have witnessed multiple asteroid approaches to Earth. However, the last few days broke this trend, with no asteroid passing the planet. Normality is expected to resume tomorrow as yet another asteroid has been designated to pass the planet in close proximity. These close approaches occur when an asteroid interacts with a large planet’s gravitational field, which can send it tumbling towards a planet, raising a potential impact scenario. With the help of its advanced tech, the US Space Agency has shed light on another asteroid that is set to pass Earth tomorrow, March 7.

Asteroid 2024 EH: Details of close approach

NASA says this asteroid has been designated as Asteroid 2024 EH by the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), an organization dedicated to studying NEOs and their potential impact on the planet. It is predicted to pass by Earth at a distance of approximately 506,000 kilometers. While this distance might seem like a lot, it is quite less in astronomical terms.

Also Read: 8 most valuable asteroids in our solar system

As per the space agency, the asteroid has been tracked in its orbit, travelling towards Earth at a breakneck speed of 34183 kilometers per hour, which is faster than an Intercontinental Ballistic Missle (ICBM)!

How big is it?

NASA says the asteroid that is approaching Earth isn’t big enough to be classified as a Potentially Hazardous Object. Asteroid 2024 EH is estimated to be almost 42 feet wide, which makes it almost as big as a bus!

It belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids, which are Earth-crossing space rocks with semi-major axes larger than Earth’s. These asteroids are named after the humongous 1862 Apollo asteroid, discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in the 1930s.

Also Read: What are asteroids and how ESA is tracking them

Astonishingly, this is not the first time that this asteroid has come close to the planet. Asteroid 2024 EH first came close to Earth on June 27, 1927, when it passed the planet by 67 million kilometers. After today, this Apollo group asteroid will fly by Earth on June 24, 2071, and it will do so at approximately 44 million kilometers.

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