An asteroid with diameters between 22 and 49 meters will pass by Earth on Tuesday, NASA has said. At its closest approach, the asteroid will be 1.2 lakh km away. It means the asteroid will be closer to Earth than the Moon, which is 3.84 lakh km away from our home planet. Ruling out a possible threat, the US space agency said that the space rock will not hit Earth.
"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," NASA Asteroid Watch posted Saturday on its Twitter account. "#PlanetaryDefense experts expect it to safely pass by at least 45,000 miles (792,000 football fields) away on Tuesday Sept. 1," it added. NASA estimates the asteroid's relative speed at around 8.16 km per second, Xinhua reported.
The last time asteroid 2011 ES4 flew by Earth, it was visible from ground for four days. This time, it will be closer to our planet than before. The asteroid, listed as "potentially hazardous", was first discovered in the spring of 2011 and passes by Earth every nine years. A "potentially hazardous asteroid" is currently defined based on parameters that measure the asteroid's potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth, according to NASA.