Nasa has warned of five asteroids set to zoom past Earth tonight and one of them is as big as a stadium.
According to Nasa’s Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies, all five asteroids will make their closest approach to Earth on 3 March.
The asteroids are classed by astronomers as ‘potentially hazardous’ as they are all passing within 7.5 million kilometres of our planet.
Still, none of them will come closer than 2 million km, meaning they pose no threat to life on Earth.
The biggest of them is a stadium-sized one about 213 m across. It will get as close as 4.4 million km to Earth.
That’s nearly 11 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon. So it’s safe to say that despite its size, the asteroid ED 125 poses no harm.
The second largest among the five asteroids is 2021 QW, which is 76 m across, making it the size of a building. It will pass at a safe distance of 5.3 million km from Earth.
In addition to these giant space rocks, two smaller ones about the size of a large aeroplane, will also fly past Earth today.
One, called 2017 BM123, is 58 m wide and will pass within nearly 4.6 million km, while the other 2023 DX will pass within 2 million km of Earth.
2023 DX is a newly discovered asteroid, first detected on Monday, 27 February.
The smallest of the lot is 2023 DN1, that’s the size of a small house and will come within 2.8 million km of the Earth.
Nasa has been tracking the trajectories of all near-Earth objects beyond the end of the century and it looks like the Earth is in no grave danger for at least the next 100 years.
In the event that a space object is getting too close for comfort Nasa has it covered.
Last year, Nasa crashed a spacecraft into a small asteroid, managing to successfully alter its orbit.
This marked humanity’s first time intentionally changing the motion of a celestial object and the first full-scale demonstration of asteroid deflection technology.
So, in the event an ‘earth-threatening’ asteroid ever does seem to be heading for Earth, then a similar method can be confidently deployed to protect humanity.
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