Asteroid alert: NASA tracks three space rocks heading past Earth at once


 Image result for asteroids

The asteroids are flying in Earth’s direction on trajectories dubbed by astronomers “Earth Close Approaches”. The asteroids will all come screaming by on Monday, September 30. NASA expects the first of the three tracked space rocks, Asteroid 2019 SH3, to appear around 2.37am BST (1.37am UTC) next week. On its closest approach, the rock will reach speeds of around 14.16km per second or 31,675mph (50,976kph).

According to NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), all three space rocks are classified as Near-Earth Objects (NEOs).

NEOs are comets and asteroids trapped in the inner solar system that come very close to our planet.

Occasionally, an asteroid will come close enough to Earth’s orbit for NASA to monitor its trajectory for the possibility of impact.

The space agency said: “As they orbit the Sun, Near-Earth Objects occasionally approach close to Earth.

 Asteroid news: Giant space rocks flying over Earth

Three space rocks will skim the planet on Monday, September 30 (Image: GETTY)

CNEOS calculates the motion of all NEOs forwards to 2200 AD and backwards to 1900 AD, and determines the times and distances of the Earth close approaches.

The first of the three asteroids is the space rock known as Asteroid 2019 SH3.

Asteroid SH3 is the second largest of the trio, estimated to measure somewhere between 62.3ft to 137.8ft (19m to 42m) in diameter.

The asteroid is flying through space at speeds of around 31,675mph (50,976kph).

The rock’s closest approach to Earth will occur around 2.37am BST (1.37am UTC) on Monday.

Shortly after, Asteroid 2019 SN3 will skim the planet around 12.46pm BST (11.46am UTC).

The asteroid is the smallest of the three space rocks.

NASA estimates SN3 measures somewhere in the range of 42.6ft to 95ft (13m to 29m) across.

The asteroid is travelling through space at speeds of around 7.68km per second or 17,179mph (27,648kph).

 Asteroid news: Giant space rocks flying over Earth

The three space rocks will pass within hours of each other (Image: GETTY)

The final of the three asteroids is the space rock known as Asteroid 2019 SP.

Asteroid SP measures in the range of 111.5ft to 249ft (34m to 76m) making it the largest of the trio.

The asteroid will close-in on Earth’s location around 6.41pm BST (5.41am UTC).

During the approach, NASA said the space rock will travel at speeds of 15.06km per second or 33,688mph (54,216kph).

Thankfully, there is no need to sound the alarm bells just yet because all three space rocks will safely miss the planet.

The closest of the three rocks, Asteroid SN3, will approach Earth from a distance of 0.00565 astronomical units.

A single astronomical unit equals about 93 million miles (149.6 million km), which is the distance from the Sun to Earth.

Asteroid SN3 will drastically cut this down to just 525,200 miles (845,227km) on Monday – only twice as far as the Moon is.

Comments