Potentially hazardous asteroid bigger than the London Eye approaching Earth

Representational Image by english.jagran


A huge space rock is expected to pass close to the Earth next week with NASA warning that it is 'potentially hazardous'
NASA has warned that an asteroid believed to be one and a half times the size of the London Eye is approaching Earth.

The space rock - which is larger than the London landmark by as much as 50 per cent - will make a close approach to our planet.

It has been branded "potentially hazardous" by space experts in the US due to its predicted proximity to Earth.

The space agency has given the asteroid the name Asteroid 2020ND, reports the Birmingham Mail.

The rock is gigantic, measuring in at 170 metres, and will make its closest approach to Earth on Friday, July 24.

It will come within just 0.034 astronomical units (AU) of our planet, NASA has warned.

The space agency said: “Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are currently defined based on parameters that measure the asteroid’s potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth.

“Specifically, all asteroids with a minimum orbit intersection distance (MOID) of 0.05 au or less are considered PHAs.”

NASA said on its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) website: “Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) are comets and asteroids that have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth’s neighbourhood.

“The scientific interest in comets and asteroids is due largely to their status as the relatively unchanged remnant debris from the solar system formation process some 4.6 billion years ago.

“The giant outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) formed from an agglomeration of billions of comets and the left over bits and pieces from this formation process are the comets we see today.

“Likewise, today’s asteroids are the bits and pieces left over from the initial agglomeration of the inner planets that include Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.”

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