NASA asteroid WARNING: Three giant space rocks headed for Earth approach TODAY | Science | News


The three space rocks will zip past the planet within 30 minutes of one another, with the first arriving around 3.13pm BST (2.13pm2 UTC) today.

The asteroids will arrive at similar times and estimates they have similar diameters but will fly by at varying distances.

The first of the three, dubbed Asteroid 2018 TU4, will come as close as 0.03637 astronomical units (au) or 14.16 lunar distances.

The astronomical unit measurement is used by astronomers to describe the distance from Earth to the Sun – more than 92.95 million miles (149.59 million km).

Today, TU4 will close that distance down to 3.38 million miles (5.4 million km) or 14.16 times the distance form Earth to the Moon.

Both NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) qualify this to be a so-called Earth Close Approach.

Earth Close Approaches are made by Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) which come within 0.05au or 4.64 million miles (7.47 million km) of Earth.

NEOs are all described as asteroids or comets which may come close to the Earth.

The ESA explained: “Generally, they are defined as asteroids or comets with a perihelion distance of 1.3au or less.”

The space agency estimates dozens of asteroids come this close to the planet on a daily basis.

NASA’s California-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said UT4 measures anywhere between 68.8ft and 157.48ft (21m and 48m) in diameter.

An asteroid of this size could cause severe damage upon impact just like the 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor which injured around 1,000 people.

NASA calculates the asteroid will fly by at a speed of 24,561.56mph or 10.98 km per second.

The next asteroid to pass the Earth is Asteroid SL3 at around 3.36pm BST (2.36pm BST).

The asteroid measures somewhere between 82.02ft and 187ft (25m and 57m)

NASA predicts it will reach a nominal distance of 0.02319au or 2.15 million miles (3.46 million km) from Earth.

Astronomers believe the asteroid is barreling through space at a speed of 30,0042 mph (13.43 km per hour).

Lastly, Asteroid 2018 TS1 will come closest to Earth at around 3.45pm BST (2.45pm UTC) today.

The space rock measures somewhere between 65.6ft and 147.6ft (20m and 45m) in diameter.

NASA said TS1 will come within 0.01693au of Earth, or 6.59 Lunar Distances.

The distance is roughly equivalent to 1.5 million miles (2.53 million km).

The asteroid is flying through the void of space at breakneck speeds of 24,449.7 mph (10.93 km per second).



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