Asteroids often move past Earth and whenever they do so, people get worried if they will impact our planet. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has allayed the fears by suggesting that the space rocks pose no known threat for the next 100 years.
This observation has been made by NASA Asteroid Watch in the wake of the surfacing of a report suggesting that Asteroid named 465824 2010 FR was expected to enter the Earth’s orbit on September 6.
“Regardless, stories sometimes surface with alarming headlines surrounding particular asteroids, so we like to reassure everyone when we see such conversations,” Financial Express reported, quoting NASA Asteroid Watch.
Last week, NASA revealed that it was tracking 465824 2010 FR. It was said to be twice as big as the Great Pyramid of Giza.
The asteroid was said to be between 120m and 270m wide and between 394ft and 886ft tall, reported Express.
The space rock was classified as a Near-Earth Object (NEO) and it was traveling towards our planet’s orbit at a speed of 31,400mph. It was reportedly expected to zoom past Earth from 4.6 million miles away.
The US space agency had assured that the asteroid posed no threat to Earth as the distance from which it was expected to pass was more than 19 times that between our planet and Moon.
“It will safely pass by our planet on Sept. 6 more than 4.6 million miles away—that’s more than 19 times the distance of our Moon,” tweeted NASA Asteroid Watch.
Our #PlanetaryDefense experts are not worried about asteroid 2010 FR and you shouldn’t be either because it has zero chance of hitting Earth. 🌎 It will safely pass by our planet on Sept. 6 more than 4.6 million miles away—that’s more than 19 times the distance of our Moon!— NASA Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) September 1, 2020
Asteroids that come within 1.3 astronomical units from the Sun are considered as NEO. They are not harmful to Earth.
According to The Indian Express, space rocks or asteroids are classified into three categories. Space rocks falling in the first category found in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
Those in the second category share an orbit with a larger planet. They are from the group of Trojans.
The asteroids that come in the third category are called Near-Earth Asteroids.