A Potentially Hazardous Asteroid Is Flying Past Earth on Christmas Day
From popular mechanics
Three asteroids are expected to fly past Earth on Christmas Day.
The largest asteroid, named 2014 SD224, is 689 feet in diameter.
2014 SD224 approaches about once a year. We will see it again on December 18, 2021.
Three asteroids are expected to swing past Earth by Christmas. The largest of the trio, named SD224 in 2014, is larger than the Washington Monument.
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2014 SD224, which is estimated to be 689 feet in diameter and is expected to be nearby at 3:20 p.m. EST will be in good company this Christmas.
Two other smaller asteroids, 2020 XY and 2020 YM1, are expected to fly past our planet on December 25th. Fortunately, none of these asteroids pose a threat to Earth, according to the NASA Center for Near-Earth Object Studies. (That God of Chaos asteroid, on the other hand? Well, check back in 2068.)
However, because these objects vibrate so close to the earth (0.02019 astronomical units to be precise) and are more likely to orbit on the same plane as the earth, they are still considered potentially dangerous objects. To date, astronomers have tracked down nearly 90 percent of near-Earth asteroids half a mile or more wide, which could potentially lead to global extinction.
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Researchers estimate that we've probably only discovered about 20 to 30 percent of the near-Earth asteroids in our solar system that are larger than about 300 meters. (Asteroids this size wouldn't cause an extinction-level event, but would cause serious damage in the region they struck - think Tunguska.)
Current estimates suggest that up to 20,500 of these objects fly through the solar system, of which 4,700 are classified as potentially dangerous. NASA and other space agencies around the world are therefore closely watching them.
Nothing like an asteroid passing Earth by Christmas to remind you to count your blessings.
? Now look at this:
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