Science-fiction action movies’ favourite plot is coming to reality as an asteroid the size of a Boeing jet plane is moving towards Earth’s orbit sometime next week. Centre for Near-Earth Objects at NASA revealed that it has been tracking asteroid 2020 RK2 for a few weeks now.
The space rock is set on a trajectory that will collide with the Earth’s outer orbit on October 7. It is said to be “bigger than Boeing 747 jet” by the space agency.
Astrologists at NASA first spotted the asteroid last month. The space rock has been classed an “Apollo asteroid.” This family of asteroids can fly by Earth’s orbit safely without any disturbance, which sadly means there is no need for Superman to rush through the orbit and save the Earth from a fatal collision.
The agency revealed that the asteroid is dashing through the vastness of space at a massive speed of 6.68 kilometres per second. The speed may seem impossible in human standards, but for space, it’s almost slow traffic.
The asteroid 2020 RK2 is estimated to range from 36m to 81 m in diameter, which is almost a width of 118-256 foot.
However, despite coming in close to the Earth’s orbit, astronomers are not likely to see it from Earth. The rock will be hurtling past our chunk of space rock, our home Earth, at about 1.12 PM in Eastern Standard time (United States) or 6.12 PM British Summer time.
And just to repeat, there is no need to worry about the event. The asteroid will be rushing past Earth at a distance of 38,27,797.34 kilometres away! NASA revealed that the chances of it causing any real damage is “extremely unlikely.”
It is estimated that several dozens of asteroids fly “near” Earth each year. However, most of them are much smaller than 2020 RK2 and they rarely touch the Earth’s orbit. Even so, a large number of them simply fly past undetected.
This particular asteroid is said to not visit Earth’s orbit again until August 2027, as reported on Dailystar.