NASA has detected three asteroids that are currently heading toward Earth. Based on the size of the space rocks, they will most likely explode mid-air after breaching Earth’s atmosphere.

The first asteroid that will approach Earth today has been identified by NASA’s Center for Near Earth Studies (CNEOS) as 2019 SH3. According to the agency, this asteroid is currently traveling at a speed of 31,650 miles per hour and has an estimated diameter of around 138 feet.

Trailing behind 2019 SH3 is an asteroid known as 2019 SN3. As indicated in CNEOS’ database, this asteroid is flying with a velocity of 17,180 miles per hour. It has a diameter of about 92 feet.

The third asteroid that will approach Earth is called 2019 SP. This asteroid is moving at a speed of 33,688 miles per hour and is about 249 feet wide.

Based on the size of these asteroids, they will most likely not reach the ground of they end up on a collision course with Earth. Since these asteroids are a bit smaller compared to the other space rocks that zip past Earth, they will most likely explode mid-air if they enter Earth’s atmosphere at a steep angle.

Unfortunately, this does not automatically mean that the people of Earth are safe from these two asteroids. These space rocks are bigger than the asteroid that exploded over Russia in 2013. The asteroid, which was about 66 feet wide, exploded at an altitude of about 97,000 feet.

The explosion caused by the asteroid produced energy that was equivalent to 500 kilotons of TNT, which was about 33 times more powerful than the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan in World War II. Although the bulk of the explosion was absorbed by the atmosphere, it was still powerful enough to affect structures and people on the ground.

According to reports, the incident damaged about 7,000 buildings and injured about 1,500 people.

Fortunately, 2019 SH3, 2019 SN3 and 2019 SP are not in danger of hitting Earth in their upcoming flyby. As noted by CNEOS, 2019 SH3 will approach Earth on Sept. 29 at 9:37 pm EDT. During this time, it will be about 0.00803 astronomical units or around 746,435 miles from Earth.

2019 SN3, on the other hand, will zip past the planet on Sept. 30 at 7:45 am EDT. It is expected to approach the planet from a distance of 0.00565 astronomical units or about 525,200 miles away.

As for 2019 SP, this asteroid will fly past Earth on Sept. 30 at 1:41 pm EDT. During its approach, the asteroid will be about 0.01699 astronomical units or around 1.6 million miles from the planet’s center.

asteroids_passing_earth Pictured; an artistic illustration of an asteroid flying by Earth. Photo: NASA