Three giant asteroids will have a close encounter with Earth on Christmas Day
Not one, not two, but three huge asteroids pay us a holiday visit and are relatively close to Earth because of their speed on Christmas Day. Compared to distances in the universe that is, so there is no need to panic.
Named 2022 YL1, 2013 YA14, and 2022 TE14, the three asteroids are estimated to be between 124 and 278 feet, between 167 and 360 feet, and between 312 and 289 feet in diameter, respectively.
Therefore, 2022 YL1 is about the same size as the wingspan of a Boeing 777, 2013 YA14 is comparable in scale to an American football field, while 2022 TE14 will be about the same size as a 50-story building. We call them asteroids A, B and C, respectively.
All three asteroids orbit the sun and occasionally pass close to Earth. Most of the asteroids in the solar system orbit the sun in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiterwhere there are believed to be about 1.1 million.
“Asteroids are ‘pieces of a planet that did not form’ that orbit the sun between Mars and Jupiter in the main asteroid belt. However, because they are relatively small, asteroids can be disrupted quite easily, so they can develop orbits that intersect. those of planets,” says Jay Tate, the director of Britain’s Spaceguard Center observatory, previously told News Week.
Each of the asteroids will pass Earth at a distance of 0.01959, 0.00691 and 0.02872 astronomical units, according to NASA NEO Earth Close Approaches data. One astronomical unit, which is equal to the distance between the Earth and the Sun – 150 million miles miles – meaning that Asteroid A will pass at about 1,820,000 miles away from Earth, Asteroid B at 642,000 miles, and Asteroid C at 2,670 .000 miles.
While this may sound extremely far away, in terms of the solar system, the asteroids are fairly close to Earth: the moon is only about 238,900 miles away, while our closest neighbor planet, Venus, is currently 253.6 million miles away.
Many of the asteroids that come close to Earth are classified as near-Earth objects and are labeled as such based on how close they come and how big they are. There are about 30,000 NEOs known to us so far, some of which also fall into another category called “potentially dangerous” objects. These are defined as coming within 4.6 million miles of Earth’s orbit as well measures over 460 feet in diameter.
Therefore, only asteroid C falls into the potentially hazardous category.
“The potentially hazardous designation simply means that the asteroid’s orbit could evolve over many centuries and millennia to one that has a chance of impacting Earth. We are not assessing these many-century-long possibilities of impact,” said Paul Chodas, manager from NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, previously told News week.
Despite the proximity of these Christmas asteroids to Earth, the chances of them or any of the other thousands of asteroids in the solar system hitting our planet are slim.
“No known asteroid poses a significant risk of impact to Earth in the next 100 years,” said NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office.
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