Massive Asteroid 2020 ND will zoom past Earth: Why is it ‘potentially dangerous’?
New Delhi, July 24: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has warned against a huge "Asteroid 2020 ND" that will zoom past Earth on July 24. The asteroid, is approximately 170 metres long, and will be as close as 0.034 astronomical units (5,086,328 kilometres) to the Earth. Its distance from Earth has placed it in the "potentially dangerous" category.
The asteroid is travelling at a massive speed of 48,000 kmph. However, the asteroid is in all likelihood to be safely away from Earth, the NASA stated.
Why it is Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs)?
"Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are currently defined based on parameters that measure the asteroid's potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth. Specifically, all asteroids with a minimum orbit intersection distance (MOID) of 0.05 au or less are considered PHAs," according to NASA.
Near-Earth objects (NEOs) are comets and asteroids nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits which allows them to enter the Earth's neighbourhood. They are composed mostly of water ice with embedded dust particles, and occasionally approach close to the Earth as they orbit the Sun.
Last week NASA had warned that the Asteroid 2020 ND is said to be bigger (almost about 170 meters) than the London Eye. It will come within just 0.034 astronomical units (AU) of the Earth, which means about 5,086,327 kilometres from our planet, which falls in the potential hazardous category by space agencies.
3 more asteroids will fly past Earth this month, which includes 2020 MX3 on July 29 as well as the 2018 PY7 and the 2007 RF1 on July 31.