Home / Science / Asteroid warning: a big rock appeared on NASA's radars and overtook Earth | Science | New

Asteroid warning: a big rock appeared on NASA's radars and overtook Earth | Science | New

The asteroid, christened 2019 RX2, is only one of the many "near Earth objects" or NEOs that dangerously approaches our planet. In total, NASA estimates that there are 796,901 known asteroids and 3,586 known comets in the solar system. The asteroid flew until today (Thursday, September 12) on a trajectory "near approach to the Earth" which brought it very close to the planet. The overflight comes just six days after NASA observed the asteroid's orbit for the first time on 6 September.

NASA announced that the rock would approach us around 4:19 (Paris time).

The 2019 asteroid RX2 is an Apollo-type space rock orbiting the Sun in the inner circles of the solar system.

The asteroid follows a trajectory similar to that of the 1862 asteroid and does not fly very far from the Earth 's orbit.

Sometimes NEOs like RX2 intersect with the Earth at different times.

According to NASA calculations, the asteroid has already approached Earth six times before its first sighting this year.

READ MORE: How often do asteroids hit Earth? What is the risk of impact?

The first flight took place on December 9, 1919, 100 years ago.

After today's close approach, the space rock will appear again in the corner of the Earth in 2024 and 2063.

NASA estimates that the asteroid RX2 is between 5 and 12 meters in diameter.

On average, rocks the size of a car like this hit the Earth once a year.

Fortunately, the asteroid is small enough to safely burn in the atmosphere without hitting the ground.

All that is bigger and space rock could cause serious damage, like the one that exploded over the Chelyabinsk Oblast (Russia) in 2013.

READ MORE: NASA partners with ESA to stop giant asteroid threats

The so-called Chelyabinsk meteor measured only about 20 meters, but his blast destroyed the windows and injured more than 1,000 people with shards of glass.

The good news is that NASA did not expect the Asteroid RX2 to hit the planet today.

The asteroid has approached our planet at a speed of about 5.34 km per second (19,224 km / h).

As close as possible, the rock flew at a distance of 0.01848 astronomical unit.

READ MORE: This is what would happen if an asteroid struck Earth

A single astronomical is about 149 million km, which is the distance between the Sun and the Earth.

This means that the rock has missed our planet of about 2.7 million kilometers, about seven times the distance from the moon.

NASA stated: "When they gravitate around the Sun, objects close to the Earth can sometimes approach the Earth.

"Note that a" near "passage astronomically can be very far in human terms: millions or even tens of millions of kilometers."

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