Asteroid warning: The 12 asteroids heading towards Earth THIS MONTH


 NASA-astertoid-tracker

Despite an apparent increase of close encounters, there are not any more near-Earth asteroids than there used to be. NASA is just getting better at detecting these rogue space rocks. Now the space agency has announced a succession of space rocks are barreling towards Earth over the next two weeks.

NASA’s Centre for Near Earth Object Studies (NEO) has calculated the trajectory of all asteroids classified as near-Earth objects forwards to the year 2200.

These asteroids have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that catapult them into Earth’s cosmic neighborhood.

This Friday, June 14, will be an astronomically busy day for asteroid fly-by, which will see three asteroids in our planet’s vicinity.

A total of 12 asteroids will skim Earth this June, all categorised as “near-earth” encounters.

These are 2019 LL1, 2013 YA14, 2019 KJ, 2019 LU, 2019 LR, 2019 LC1, 2019 LB2, 2019 LM1, 2010 NY65, 2008 KV2, 2016 NN15 and 2019 LV1.

Arguably the most exciting encounter will occur when a rogue asteroid dubbed 2008 KV2 will skim Earth on Thursday, June 27.

This asteroid is approximately 1,150ft (350m) across, and travelling 25,700mph (41,000kmh).

Online asteroid impact calculators estimate this space rock is capable of creating a crater 660m deep and causing a magnitude 7 earthquake.

This asteroid is easily capable of causing Armageddon if it struck a major city.

Fortunately, however, this asteroid will in fact barrel safely past our planet at 4,200,000 miles distance (6,800,000km).

Such enormous distances may lead some observers to question why NASA categories such asteroids as near-Earth objects.

This is because these are actually remarkably short distances, when the universe’s infinite size and the enormity of our solar system are considered.

If an asteroid’s trajectory does not take it beyond the Asteroid Belt between Jupiter and Mars, NASA classifies it as a NEO.

According to NASA, an NEO is an “asteroid or comet with a perihelion distance less than or equal to 1.3 astronomical units.”

One astronomical unit translates into about 93 million miles (149.6 million km), is the distance between the Earth and the Sun.

What this means, is asteroids like 2008 KV2 orbit the Sun from a maximum distance of around 120.8 million miles (194.5 million km).

 Asteroid

And these rogue space rocks will occasionally cross paths with Earth’s own orbit around the Sun.

NASA said: “As they orbit the Sun, Near-Earth Objects can occasionally approach close to Earth.

“Note that a ‘close’ passage astronomically can be very far away in human terms: millions or even tens of millions of kilometres.”

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