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‘Potentially hazardous’ asteroid, twice Burj Khalifa’s size, to fly past Earth on May 27

On making its closest approach to Earth on May 27, 1989 JA will be 40,24,182 kilometres away, the closest it gets to the planet for the next 172 years.

By: Express Web Desk |
Updated: May 26, 2022 12:58:19 pm
The asteroid, named 1989 JA, is estimated to be 1.1 miles long, two kilometres wide and is travelling at a speed of 30,000 mph. (Representational image)

A ‘potentially hazardous’ asteroid, which is twice the size of the Burj Khalifa and four times the Empire State Building will zip past Earth on Friday, according to NASA’s Centre for Near Earth Object Studies. The asteroid, named 1989 JA, is estimated to be 1.1 miles long, two kilometres wide and is travelling at a speed of 30,000 mph, as per a Live Science report.

On making its closest approach to Earth on May 27, 1989 JA will be 40,24,182 kilometres away, the closest it gets to the planet for the next 172 years.

The Apollo asteroid –a term given to asteroids that revolve around the sun while periodically crossing Earth’s orbit– has been labelled “potentially hazardous” as it can cause severe damage to Earth if it changes its orbit.

“To provide some context, that is 17 times the speed of a bullet through the air. At this speed, the asteroid could travel around the planet Earth in 45 minutes,” Franck Marchis, chief scientific officer of the telescope company Unistellar and senior planetary astronomer at the SETI Institute, was quoted as saying by USA Today.

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The asteroid was discovered in 1989 by astronomer Eleanor Helin at the Palomar Observatory in Southern California. According to NASA, of the nearly 29,000 near-Earth asteroids whose existence is known of, the 1989 JA belongs to the group of 878 asteroids that are at least 3,280 feet wide.

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First published on: 26-05-2022 at 11:57:29 am

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