KEY POINTS

  • NASA detected an asteroid approaching Earth
  • 2020 GQ1 follows an Earth-crossing orbit

NASA is currently monitoring an asteroid that’s expected to approach Earth tomorrow morning. According to the agency, the asteroid’s natural orbit intersects Earth’s trajectory.

The approaching asteroid has been identified by NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) as 2020 GQ1. Based on the data collected by the agency, 2020 GQ1 has an estimated diameter of about 85 feet. This asteroid is currently traveling across space towards the planet at an average speed of almost 38,000 miles per hour.

According to NASA, 2020 GQ1 is officially classified as an Apollo asteroid. Like other asteroids that belong to this group, 2020 GQ1 has a natural orbit that crosses Earth’s path. This usually occurs as the asteroid approaches its closest point to the Sun.

Based on NASA’s computer model, 2020 GQ1 follows an elongated orbit within the Solar System. It is known to fly between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

According to CNEOS, 2020 GQ1’s upcoming Earth-crossing approach will happen on April 7 at 4:43 a.m. EDT. The asteroid will fly past Earth from a distance of 0.01122 astronomical units or roughly 1 million miles away.

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