KEY POINTS

  • Two asteroids will approach Earth tomorrow
  • Both asteroids follow Earth-crossing orbits
  • One of the asteroids could cause an impact event

NASA is currently monitoring two asteroids that are expected to approach Earth tomorrow. One of the approaching asteroids is moving fast enough to cause an impact event on the planet.

According to NASA’s Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the first asteroid that will enter Earth’s vicinity tomorrow is known as 2020 CY1. CNEOS estimated that this asteroid has a diameter of about 361 feet. It is currently moving towards Earth at an impressive speed of about 90,000 miles per hour.

Trailing behind 2020 CY1 is an asteroid that’s called 2020 BC10. Compared to 2020 CY1, 2020 BC10 is much smaller and moving at a slower velocity. According to CNEOS, this asteroid is approaching Earth at a speed of about 17,000 miles per hour. It has an estimated diameter of around 184 feet.

Both asteroids are classified as Apollo near-Earth objects. This means that these two asteroids follow natural orbits that are known to intersect Earth’s path as it travels around the Sun.

If 2020 BC10 hits Earth, it would most likely not hit the ground. Instead, this asteroid would burn up in Earth’s atmosphere and cause a powerful explosion in the sky.

2020 CY1, on the other hand, is big enough and moving fast enough to penetrate Earth’s atmosphere. Instead of exploding mid-air, this asteroid would most likely hit the ground and cause an impact event on Earth.

The energy that would be released from the asteroid’s impact would be equivalent to multiple atomic bombs. It would be powerful enough to wipe out a large area such as an entire town.

Fortunately, Earth is not in danger of getting by the two approaching asteroids. According to CNEOS, 2020 CY1 will visit Earth’s neighborhood on Feb. 10 at 1:35 a.m. EST. During this time, the asteroid will fly past the planet from a distance of around 0.01508 astronomical units, which is equivalent to about 1.4 million miles away.

2020 BC10, on the other hand, will approach Earth on Feb. 10 at 9:05 a.m. EST from a distance of around 0.03892 astronomical units or roughly 3.6 million miles away.