After last weekend’s Halloween solar flare, it appears our solar system isn’t quite done with its latest performance. While the solar flare posed threats to our planet’s GPS and communication systems, this week NASA’s warned us of an asteroid headed toward Earth, the size of the Eiffel Tower. The national space agency has stated the asteroid could be potentially hazardous.
According to The U.S. Sun, the large asteroid is set to pass by Earth on December 11th, racing by at 4,000 miles per hour. Additionally, the outlet stated any kind of impact would have devastating results. However, this time around, measuring 1,080 feet in length, the space rock – identified as 4660 Nereus – does not pose a threat to humanity.
As far as the asteroid’s upcoming approach goes, it will pose no danger to people across the globe. Scientists shared during this orbit 4660 Nereus will travel about 2.4 million miles from Earth. For perspective, the news outlet stated the distance is equivalent to that between our Earth and Moon ten times over.
Nevertheless, the space rock has some impressive statistics. Measuring at its current size, the asteroid is larger than 90 per cent of other asteroids. Additionally, this won’t be the first or last time we’ll see 4660 Nereus approach.
Following the December 11th arrival, the asteroid will again make an appearance in March 2031 and November 2050. However, its nearest approach arrives some time in February 2060. At that point, the asteroid will remain a total of 750,000 miles from our planet.
Asteroid Whizzes by Antarctica Undetected
Fortunately for us, the large December asteroid appears to pose little danger to us here, safely tucked beneath the layers of our atmosphere. However, just last month, another asteroid flew by Antarctica, completely undetected by professionals.
Teams compared the space rock’s size to a refrigerator or golf cart, and passed within 2,000 miles of Earth, and 1,800 miles from the southern hemisphere. For perspective, it claimed the air space between our planet’s communication satellites and the International Space Station.
Further, the asteroid qualified as the third nearest flyby of a foreign object to Earth, that is without impact.
Following its passing, scientists named the earlier asteroid 2021 UA1. Interestingly, scientists could not detect the asteroid’s approach as it came from the direction of the sun. Its approach path serves as one of the professionals’ dangerous blind spots here on Earth.
NASA Launches Lucy for 12-Year Mission
As one of Earth’s many ground-restricted individuals, it’s both interesting and and a little scary to learn of these potential dangerous asteroids. However, as technology broadens and strengthens, professionals have begun utilizing their knowledge to see what extents of our universe are actually explorable.
Most recently, NASA launched its newest explorational tool, Lucy, from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.
Its mission? To explore the far-away clusters of asteroids that surround Jupiter known as Trojans. And that mission is crucial to the exploration of our solar system’s creation.
The Trojans, consisting of seven large and ancient asteroids have been called “cosmic time capsules.”
The intriguing space rocks originated from an earlier solar system. Scientists hope exploring the Trojans provides clues as to the mystery of our own solar system.