NASA Identifies 4,000 Foot-Wide Asteroid Approaching Earth

by Madison Miller

There’s something less-than-pleasant possibly hurtling itself very close to the surface of Earth. Scientists are now left calculating and plotting what this 4,000 foot-wide asteroid could potentially do within the next week or so.

According to NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, this asteroid is going to hopefully pass by Earth this next week. The asteroid in question is the 2001 CB21. It is going to make a close approach to Earth on March 4 at about 2:59 ET.

Take a deep breath, however. The keyword here is that the asteroid is only going to be approaching Earth. It will travel at about 36,800 miles per hour and will be close to three million miles from Earth. This is more than enough distance to assure Earthgoers that the apocalypse is not upon us. This is also the distance between the moon and the Earth, but multiply that by 12.

You may have noticed that NASA and other news outlets have been reporting on near-Earth objects far more frequently. An astronomer with the Virtual Telescope Project in Italy, Gianluca Masi, told Newsweek says we have technological advancements to thank for this. Amazing space telescopes make it so we can find these smaller objects and study them as they get closer and closer to Earth.

“People often ask us why the number of near-Earth objects has apparently increased over the last [few] years. Actually, it is the continuously improving technology which is making it possible for us to spot smaller and smaller objects, which we were simply missing before,” Masi said.

NASA technically has to call this event a “potentially hazardous asteroid.”

This is because the 2001 CB21 is within 4,650,000 miles of Earth and is more than 500 feet in diameter. This is also the last time it will make a close approach to our planet until 2043. Also, you can watch the asteroid by watching the Virtual Telescope live stream event. Well, as long as you’re willing to be awake in the middle of the night.

Information on the Asteroid that Killed the Dinosaurs

While this asteroid is not going to collide with Earth, another asteroid millions of years ago is responsible for wiping an entire species off the planet.

According to USA Today, scientists have since discovered that the asteroid that hit Earth and killed the dinosaurs struck during springtime. Dinosaurs went extinct about 66 million years ago and the Cretaceous Period ended with them. This is all thanks to an asteroid about 7 miles wide that struck the Yucatán peninsula off Mexico.

The asteroid and the deadly event are something that continues to captivate scientists. Some animals, such as birds and snakes, managed to survive. We are also constantly finding new fossils that give us new insight into the asteroid situation.