It looks like yet another Potentially Hazardous asteroid is set to fly by the Earth. The asteroid is 7335 (1989 JA) and it will complete a flyby of the Earth on May 27, at around 10:26 a.m. NASA states that ET is the time. The massive asteroid is estimated to be around 10 times taller than the Statue of Liberty, at almost 1. 8 kilometers (5,900 feet).
This Potentially Hazardous asteroid will pass by Earth later this month
According to NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Studies (CNES), the potentially hazardous asteroid will pass 2. 5 million miles away from Earth. At the time, it will be traveling at around 47,200 miles per hour. Scientists say that although the asteroid is considered potentially hazardous, there’s no chance it will strike Earth.
Astronomers discovered the asteroid back in May of 1989. Astronomer Eleanor “Glo” Helin discovered it from the Palomar Observatory in California. It’s one of more than 29,000 near-Earth objects, also known as NEOs, that scientists have discovered so far. The majority of these NEOs are asteroids, too, which is why we have so many close approaches.
Astronomers use the term NEO is used to refer to any object that passes within 30 million miles of Earth’s orbit. 30 million miles might not sound very close, but in space, that distance is much shorter than you’d expect. For potentially hazardous asteroids like 7335, it all comes down to how close they are, and how big they are.
Is there any risk of an impact?
Calling an object potentially hazardous doesn’t necessarily mean that it has a danger of impacting the Earth. Scientists believe that it won’t be until at least the next century before there is any concern about an asteroid hitting Earth. This refers to the distance and size of an object that comes closest to Earth.
NASA believes that the asteroid could be around 1. 8 kilometers across, as I mentioned above. NASA regards the potential hazardous asteroid as “relatively big” in comparison to other near-Earth asteroids. However, as Don Yeomans, a former NASA planetary scientist told Newsweek, measuring asteroids can be tricky.
They are often too far away to be easily measured. As such, 7335 could be somewhat smaller than NASA previously expected. It’s still a huge asteroid and will be traveling very close to Earth.
In the future, NASA projects like the D.A.R.T spacecraft will even offer ways to turn potentially hazardous asteroids away from our planet. In case of an impact, we have this backup plan.
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