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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Two large asteroids to make close approach to Earth today

There is no chance of 2020 QG5 getting in an impact trajectory even if its orbit is altered by the gravitational pull of other planets.

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 2, 2020 9:51:00 am
Asteroid 2020 Q5G, Asteroid 2011 ES4, asteroid watch september, asteroid earth impact, asteroids in 2020, NASA asteroid, asteroid distance, asteroid sizeA Near Earth Object representational image (Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Two asteroids named 2011 ES4 and 2020 QG5 with a diameter of 19 metres and 49 metres respectively will be making a close approach towards Earth on September 1. Both asteroids have been classified as Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) because of their distance from our planet.

Asteroid 2011 ES4

Despite their trajectory, both the asteroids are not expected to collide with Earth. The estimated distance of the asteroid 2011 ES4 is 1.2 lakh km. This will be the closest approach of the particular asteroid towards Earth. It will be a lot closer to us than the moon which is 3.84 lakh kilometres away from our planet. The closest any known asteroid is going to get to the Earth will be over a decade later in 2032.

“Will #asteroid 2011 ES4 hit Earth? No! 2011 ES4’s close approach is “close” on an astronomical scale but poses no danger of actually hitting Earth. #PlanetaryDefense experts expect it to safely pass by at least 45,000 miles (792,000 football fields) away on Tuesday Sept. 1.” NASA Asteroid Watch wrote in a tweet.

ALSO READ | Asteroid double the size of Pyramid Giza to enter Earth’s orbit on September 6

As per NASA’s estimates, the asteroid’s relative speed will be approximately 1.8 kilometre per second. The last time Asteroid 2011 ES4 came close to earth was in 2011 and was visible for four days. However, this time it may be visible from the ground through a telescope.

Asteroid 2020 Q5G

On the other hand, asteroid 2020 QG5 made its last approach towards earth 16 years ago on August 11, 2004. It will be 29 lakh km away from our planet at its closest approach. There is no chance of 2020 QG5 getting in an impact trajectory even if its orbit is altered by the gravitational pull of other planets.

Earlier in August, Asteroid 2018 VP1 was predicted to pass by a day before US Presidential Election on November 2. Once again, the chances of it making an impact were as bleak as 0.41 per cent. Even if it did get in Earth’s way, it will be reduced to ashes upon entering Earth’s atmosphere.

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