• Four asteroids are currently moving toward Earth
  • The asteroids will fly past Earth on Friday
  • The space rocks belong to asteroid groups that intersect Earth's orbit

NASA’s automated asteroid tracking system has detected four asteroids that are expected to fly past Earth on Friday. Based on the data gathered by the agency, all approaching asteroids follow Earth-crossing natural orbits.

The incoming asteroids are currently listed in the database maintained by NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS). As noted by CNEOS, the first asteroid that will visit Earth’s vicinity on Friday is called 2018 PY7.

According to CNEOS, 2018 PY7 is currently making its way across the Solar System at an average velocity of over 21,000 miles per hour. With an estimated diameter of 85 feet, 2018 PY7 is the smallest asteroid that will fly past Earth tomorrow.

CNEOS noted that 2018 PY7 would zip past Earth at 1:32 a.m. EDT from a distance of 0.02277 astronomical units or about 2.1 million miles away.

The second asteroid that will approach Earth on Friday is called 2007 RF1. As indicated in CNEOS’ database, this asteroid measures about 118 feet wide. It is expected to fly past Earth at 4:03 a.m. EDT at a speed of 11,000 miles per hour.

During its approach, 2007 RF1 will be about 0.02735 astronomical units from the planet’s center, which is equivalent to 2.5 million miles.

Trailing behind 2007 RF1 is an asteroid known as 2020 OC1. CNEOS estimated that this asteroid measures about 102 feet wide. It is currently moving across space towards Earth at a speed of almost 9,000 miles per hour.

CNEOS predicted that 2020 OC1 will enter Earth’s vicinity at 8:38 a.m. EDT. During its close-Earth approach, the asteroid will be about 0.02457 astronomical units or 2.3 million miles from the planet.

The last asteroid that will fly past Earth on Friday has been identified as 2020 OT4. This asteroid has an estimated diameter of 98 feet and is flying towards Earth at an average velocity of almost 10,000 miles per hour.

2020 OT4 will zip past Earth on Friday at 10:06 a.m. EDT from a distance of 0.03092 astronomical units or 2.9 million miles away.

After analyzing the trajectories of the four approaching asteroids, NASA noted that the space rocks belong to asteroid groups that are known to cross Earth’s path from time to time. According to the agency, 2018 PY7 and 2020 OT4 are Apollo asteroids, while 2007 RF1 and 2020 OC1 belong to the Aten family of space rocks.

Two Very Different Asteroids
Image of two different asteroids captured by NASA. NASA/JPL/JHUAPL