The US space agency has warned of a barrage of space rocks heading towards Earth, ranging in size from a minuscule 10 meters in diameter to 213 positively backing off.
When not closely monitoring the persistent rover, which landed on Mars this week, NASA is busy monitoring the sky looking for potential threats to life on Earth – namely, the asteroids. This week is no exception, as five space rocks like this are set to knock out the planet we call home.
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On Sunday, the asteroid 2021 DD1, which has a height of 10 meters, and the asteroid 2021 DK1, which has a height of 61 meters, will launch Earth at a safe distance of 1.6 million km and 6 million km, respectively.
However, it’s just a warm-up for what NASA describes as “The size of the playing field“ Asteroid 2020 XU6, which has a diameter of about 213 meters. To put that into perspective, it’s twice the height of London’s Big Ben and 2.5 times the height of the Statue of Liberty.
The 2020 XU6 travels at 8.4 kilometers per second or 30,240 kilometers per hour. Given that the circumference of Earth is 40,075 kilometers, it would take the asteroid a little more than an hour to complete a rotation of the entire planet.
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Fortunately, the space rock is expected to miss us about four million kilometers when it flies by February 22nd, so humanity can breathe a collective sigh of relief for now.
The giant space rock will soon follow by 2020 BV9 (23 meters), which will pass 5.6 million kilometers, and 2021 CC5 (40 meters), which will pass about 6.9 million kilometers.
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