Asteroid 2011 ES4 will approach so ‘close’ to Earth, even closer than the Moon but pose no danger to us, NASA assures.
An asteroid between 20 and 50 meters will pass by Earth on Tuesday, NASA has said.
The asteroid’s closest approach will be 1.2 lakh km away, meaning that the asteroid will be closer to Earth than the Moon, which is 3.84 lakh km away from our home planet.
NASA has ruled out possible threat to Earth.
Will #asteroid 2011 ES4 hit Earth? 🌎 No! 2011 ES4’s close approach is “close” on an astronomical scale but poses no danger of actually hitting Earth. #PlanetaryDefense experts expect it to safely pass by at least 45,000 miles (792,000 football fields) away on Tuesday Sept. 1.
— NASA Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) August 28, 2020
NASA estimates the asteroid’s relative speed at around 8.16 km per second.
The last time asteroid 2011 ES4 flew by Earth, it was visible from ground for four days.
This time, it will be closer to our planet than before.
The asteroid, listed as “potentially hazardous”, was first discovered in the spring of 2011 and passes by Earth every nine years.
A “potentially hazardous asteroid” is currently defined based on parameters that measure the asteroid’s potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth, according to NASA.
Earlier, the US space agency had predicted that a small asteroid heading towards the Earth has a 0.41 percent chance of hitting the planet one day before the US presidential election that is scheduled for November 3.