NASA is currently monitoring two asteroids that are on near-collision paths with Earth today. According to the space agency’s data, one of the asteroids will approach the planet at a dangerously close distance.

The first asteroid that will visit Earth’s orbit is 2019 LU4. The near-Earth object is currently traveling at a speed of 18,000 miles per hour and is about a hundred feet long. According to NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), 2019 LU4 will approach Earth on June 18 at 5:29 a.m. ST.

Compared to the other asteroids that approached Earth recently, 2019 LU4 will fly closest to the planet. As indicated in CNEOS’ database, the asteroid is expected to be within 0.00505 astronomical units or roughly 470,000 miles from the Earth’s surface when it makes its approach. This will put the asteroid within twice the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

An asteroid approaching this close to Earth can be a bit alarming since a slight change in its trajectory could cause it to hit the planet in the future. Scientists have previously warned that keyholes in space, or regions that are affected by the gravitational pull of larger objects, can alter the path of asteroids.

Fortunately, according to CNEOS’ data, this won’t be the case for 2019 LU4. The agency noted that when the asteroid returns to Earth’s neighborhood in Oct. 24, it will be much farther away.

The second asteroid that will approach the planet is 2019 LA5. Unlike the first asteroid, 2019 LA5 isn’t at risk of colliding with Earth for now since it will be flying at a much farther distance.

According to CNEOS, the asteroid is expected to be about 0.04686 astronomical units or around 4.4 million miles away from the planet’s center when it makes its approach on June 18 at 9:47 pm ST.

2019 LA5 is currently travelling at a speed of 17,000 miles per hour. It is much larger than 2019 LU4 with a diameter of 161 feet.

This asteroid was first observed on May 31. It is not yet clear when the asteroid will pass by Earth again in the future.

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