An asteroid first noticed flying in the direction of Earth two day ago is en route to scrape by the planet later tonight, space agency NASA has mentioned.
The asteroid, dubbed 2019 SG1, was first noticed within the solar system on Friday, September 20. NASA has since tracked the asteroid 22 times to find out its size, speed, and orbital path. The US space agency concluded Asteroid SG1 is flying in Earth’s direction on a “close approach” trajectory. The asteroid is anticipated to close-in on Earth tonight around 10.08 pm BST (9.08 pm UTC).
Apollo-type asteroids cross the Earth’s orbit in an identical method to the Asteroid 1862 Apollo.
NASA has also classified SG1 as a NEO or Near-Earth Object.
NEOs are all comets and asteroids that come within 1.3 astronomical units (AU) of Earth. NASA stated: “Some asteroids and comets follow orbital paths that take them much closer to the Sun and therefore Earth than usual.
“If a comet or asteroid’s strategy brings it to within 1.3 astronomical units of the Sun, it is known as a near-Earth object.”
NASA estimates the space rock measures somewhere within the range of 24.3ft to 55.7ft (7.4 m to 17m) in diameter.
On the upper end of NASA’s guess, the asteroid is twice as long as London double-decker bus.
An asteroid this big would most likely disintegrate before it reached the ground.
Past impacts, however, prove an asteroid does not have to hit the ground to cause chaos and destruction.
When a 65.6ft-wide (20m) rock struck the atmosphere over Russia’s Chelyabinsk Oblast in 2013, the rocky object exploded before it hit.
But the resulting arblast spread over a wide radius, damaging more than 7,000 buildings and injured more than 1,000 people with shards of blown-out windows.