- NASA Flag FIVE Asteroids En Route TODAY, as Scientists Mull Planetary Defense Mission to Planet-Killer Apophis in 2029
NASA has sounded the ‘potentially hazardous object’ alarm over five asteroids expected to buzz the Earth’s vicinity. It comes as the astronomy community discusses the threat posed by the ‘God of Chaos’ asteroid Apophis.
By all accounts, 2020 has been one hell of a tough year, and with the end in sight, it’s understandable that many are wondering whether humanity will make it to 2021, so NASA warnings about incoming asteroid swarms are unwelcome news. On Monday, not one but five asteroids will enter our cosmic backyard.
First up is 2020 VR4, measuring 27 meters in diameter (about five giraffes) which will pass the planet at 2.2 million kilometers. Shortly after will be the closest encounter of the space rock kind, as the telephone-pole-sized (11 meters) 2020 VM5, buzzes past at 426,000km. To put that in context, the average distance between Earth and the Moon is about 239,000 miles (385,000km), so it’ll be close but not too close for comfort.
Bringing up the rear are: the nine-meter 2020 VA3, at a distance of 4.2 million kilometers; the 13-meter 2020 VS1 at 2.8 million kilometers; and lastly, will be 2020 VB3, measuring twice the height of Michael Jordan (or four meters) at 589,000km. However, these close flybys pale in comparison to the threat posed by Asteroid 99942 Apophis.