KEY POINTS

  • NASA detected two asteroids approaching Earth
  • Both asteroids have Earth-crossing orbits

NASA’s automated asteroid tracking system has detected two asteroids that are expected to approach Earth On Wednesday. According to the data collected by the agency’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the approaching asteroids have natural orbits that intersect Earth’s path.

The asteroid that will first approach Earth on April 15 has been identified as 2020 FX3. As indicated in CNEOS’ database, this asteroid has an estimated diameter of 295 feet, making it almost as big as the Statue of Liberty.

According to CNEOS, 2020 FX3 is currently traveling across space towards Earth at an average speed of almost 23,000 miles per hour.

Trailing behind 2020 FX3 is an asteroid known as 2020 GH2. Compared to 2020 FX3, 2020 GH2 is a much smaller asteroid. As noted by CNEOS, this space rock measures about 98 feet wide. It is currently moving through the Solar System at an average velocity of over 19,000 miles per hour.

According to NASA, both 2020 FX3 and 2020 GH2 are classified as Apollo asteroid. This means that these two space rocks have natural orbits that cross Earth’s path as it travels around the Sun.

Earth-crossing asteroids are one of the most dangerous types due to their capability of directly colliding with the planet. The asteroids will not be coming close enough to Earth, however.

According to CNEOS, 2020 FX3’s upcoming near-Earth intersection will occur on April 15 at 1:02 a.m. EDT. During this time, the asteroid will approach Earth from a distance of 0.03612 astronomical units or roughly 3.4 million miles away.

As for 2020 GH2, this asteroid will fly past the planet on April 15 at 12:45 p.m. EDT from a distance of 0.00240 astronomical units or around 223,000 miles away.