NASA asteroid KW1 WARNING: Giant asteroid to skim Earth TODAY | Science | News

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The speeding space rock is expected to approach Earth at around midday when the two stellar bodies will almost cross paths.

The barrelling dubbed KW1 2018 will come within 0.39 lunar distances to the Earth, which is just over a third of the distance to the moon.

The average distance from the Earth to the moon measures around 384,400km and the asteroid will close that gap down to 149,000km.

Asteroid KW1’s incredibly close approach marks the second time since May 15 an asteroid will skim past Earth within one lunar distance.

The space rock will zoom around the planet at a speed of about 7.3km/s or 26,280km/h.

According to ’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Solar System Dynamics ephemeris calculator, Asteroid KW1 last approached Earth on August 22, 2011.

And astronomy enthusiasts will next have to wait another 19 years before KW1 reaches Earth again on September 16, 2027.

However, in 2027 the asteroid will only approach Earth from a much farther distance of about 36,170,000km.

NASA classified the rogue rock an Apollo asteroid and Near Earth Object, or NEO.

Near Earth Apollo asteroid orbits which cross paths with Earth’s orbit have similar trajectories to that of Asteroid 1862 Apollo – a giant asteroid discovered in 1932.

Rocky NEO asteroids are typically found in the warmer parts of the solar system between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

NEO comets are typically formed from a mixture of frozen water and dust particles in the outer reaches of the solar system.

NASA explained: “The vast majority of NEOs are asteroids, referred to as Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs).

“NEAs are divided into groups, Atira, Aten, Apollo and Amor, according to their perihelion distance, aphelion distance and their semi-major axes.”

Because these asteroids are rich in carbon-based molecules and liquid water, many scientists speculate the collisions of these objects with Earth may have had a crucial role in the development of carbon-based life.

At least five more asteroids will dash past the planet by the end of the month but they will all stay within 10 to 20 lunar distances from Earth – 3,840,000km to 7,680,000km.



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