A giant asteroid which is approximately as big as the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt is set to fly past the Earth later today. According to NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the asteroid which is identified as asteroid 2019 SX5 is estimated to have a diameter of around 459 feet. As indicated in the database of the agency, the approaching asteroid is having a speed of nearly 49,000 miles per hour.
According to CNEOS data, asteroid 2019 SX5 is likely to fly past the Earth at 7:07 pm EDT on October 10 ( or 4:37 am IST on October 11). During this period, the asteroid will be at a distance of approximately 0.04533 astronomical units (AU) which is nearly 4.2 million miles, the data by CNEOS showed.
The asteroid 2019 SX5 is classified as an Apollo asteroid, which means that it has a very wide orbit around the Earth and the Sun and its orbit occasionally intersect with that of our planet. Even as asteroid 2019 SX5’s orbit intersects the Earth’s orbit, there is no danger of collision or fly past from a dangerously close distance. Hence, this particular asteroid is not labeled as a potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA) by NASA’s CNEOS.
“Potentially Hazardous Asteroids are currently defined based on parameters that measure the asteroid’s potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth,” CNEOS explained on its website. “Specifically, all asteroids with an Earth Minimum Orbit Intersection Distance of 0.05 AU or less and an absolute magnitude of 22.0 are considered PHAs.”
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According to the data by CNEOS, asteroid 2019 SX5 is known to approach Jupiter, Venus and Earth. Before today’s occasion, the asteroid flew past the Earth back in December 19, 2016, during which it flew from a distance of 0.39476 AU or approximately 37 million miles. After this flyby, the asteroid is predicted to come back near our planet on September 29, 2025.