KEY POINTS

  • NASA detected three asteroids approaching Earth
  • Two of the approaching asteroids follow Earth-crossing orbits

NASA has detected three asteroids that are currently headed for Earth.

NASA’S Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) identified the first asteroid that will approach tomorrow as 2020 FL4. As indicated in the agency’s database, this asteroid measures about 77 feet wide and is moving across the Solar System toward Earth at a speed of over 10,000 miles per hour.

Closely following 2020 FL4 is an asteroid known as 2015 GK. According to CNEOS, this asteroid has an estimated diameter of about 135 feet, making it the biggest asteroid in the group. CNEOS noted that it is currently traveling across space with an average velocity of almost 29,000 miles per hour.

The last asteroid that’s expected to visit Earth’s neighborhood tomorrow is called 2020 GE. This asteroid measures about 43 feet wide. It is approaching Earth at a speed of almost 5,000 miles per hour.

According to NASA, 2020 FL4 is an Amor asteroid while 2015 GK and 2020 GE are members of the Apollo family of space rocks. Although 2020 FL4 follows an elongated around Earth, 2015 GK and 2020 GE occasionally intersect the planet’s path as it goes around the Sun.

Given the estimated diameters of the three approaching asteroids, they most likely won’t cause impact events on Earth during a collision. Instead, these asteroids will likely burn up in the atmosphere and cause powerful explosions in the sky.

However, according to CNEOS, the three asteroids are not in danger of colliding with Earth during their upcoming visits. 2020 FL4 will fly past Earth on April 9 at 1:01 a.m. EDT from a distance of 0.02663 astronomical units or roughly 2.5 million miles away.

2015 GK, on the other hand, is expected to intersect Earth’s orbit on April 9 at 3:55 a.m. EDT. During this time, the asteroid will be about 0.03119 astronomical units or roughly 2.9 million miles from the planet’s center.

As for 2020 GE, this asteroid will approach Earth on April 9 at 11:49 p.m. EDT from a distance of 0.01389 astronomical units or 1.3 million miles away.

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