We are just six days into 2021 and there are several asteroids approaching Earth already. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has cautioned about six asteroids, including two which are as big as the Eiffel Tower. A total of six asteroids will zoom past Earth on January 6.
The first one is the 2021 AC, which already went past our planet in the morning. It has an average diameter of 73.5 metres and moved at a speed of 50,652 kmph. The second one is named 2016 CO247, which has an average diameter of 340 metres. It went past Earth soon after the 2021 AC at a speed of 60,228 kmph. It was 7.4 million km away from our planet.
The smallest of the six asteroids, 2021 AJ which is not more than 20 metres in diameter will go past the planet in the evening (5 PM IST approx). Almost two hours later, the 32-metre 2018 KP1 will follow which is can be 41 metres in diameter and will be 3.1 million km away from Earth at a speed of 15,948 kmph. 2021 AU will be just 1.42 million kms away from Earth. The estimated diameter is around 60 metres.
The last asteroid of the lot is the largest to approach the Earth. As per IST, it will go past Earth around 2:30 AM on January 7. The 2008 AF4 is nearly 500 metres in diameter and if it was to hit Earth, its impact would be the equivalent of the largest nuclear bombs. It is travelling at a speed of 39,654 kmph. Thankfully, it is over 15 million km away from Earth and does not pose a threat.
As per NASA, none of the asteroids going past the Earth poses a threat. Only Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) pose a threat to Earth and that also depends on the size as the celestial objects burn upon entering the atmosphere. Most of them are blow to small pieces before hitting the ground.
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