- Two Asteroids to Race Past Earth as NASA Pens Deal With Space Force to Bolster Planetary Defenses
Just one day after World Asteroid Day, NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) has warned of two space rocks due to soar through the Earth’s backyard, as planetary defense preparations start to ramp up.
The first of the incoming objects is the 69-foot wide 2019 AC3, an Apollo-class asteroid travelling at roughly 8,000 miles per hour and due to fly past at a safe distance of 2.5 million miles away.
Later on Wednesday, at almost double the size and over twice the speed of its predecessor, the 135-foot, Aten-class asteroid 2020 MK3 will shoot past at 19,000 miles an hour. The asteroid will come much closer to us, passing within 440,000 miles of our planet. While this is a close shave in space rock terms, it’s still over 1.5 times the distance between us and the moon, so there’s nothing to worry about.