(Image source from: Sci-Tech Universe)
A giant and potentially risky asteroid is headed toward Earth and is anticipated to pass by next week at 20,000 mph.
According to NASA's (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Center for Near Earth Object Studies, asteroid 2016 NF23 is on a close approach that will culminate on August 29. However, that close approach will still only bring it within about 0.033 astronomical units - or 3 million miles.
The asteroid is thought to be about 230 feet to 525 feet in diameter - a range that makes it anywhere from slightly smaller than a Boeing 747 to taller than the Pyramids of Giza. Behind 2001 RQ17 and 2015 FP118, both of which are expected to make their closest approaches in September, it is one of the sizable objects to approach Earth recently, and 2018 EB and 2013 UG1, which are expected in October.
Near Earth objects are comets and asteroids that "have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets that allow them to enter the Earth's neighborhood," according to NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies. These objects on a regular basis pass by the planet. Yet, possibly risky asteroids, suchlike the asteroid anticipated to pass following week, are objects that pass by closer than 0.05 au - or 5 million miles.
Potentially hazardous asteroids likewise have an absolute magnitude of 22.0 or brighter. The magnitude of next week's asteroid is 22.9.
NASA developed a plan to assist the planet from close-passing objects, pursuing a close call with an asteroid the size of a football field in April. The asteroid in April 2018 GE3, passed Earth at just 119,000 miles away, about half the distance from the Earth to the Moon.
By Sowmya Sangam