• NASA is tracking two asteroids approaching Earth
  • 2020 KN2 follows an Earth-intersecting orbit
  • Both asteroids are not in danger of causing impact events

NASA’s automated asteroid tracking system is currently monitoring two asteroids that are expected to fly past Earth on Monday (June 1). Based on the data collected by the agency, the approaching asteroids are not in danger of colliding with Earth during their upcoming visit.

According to NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the first asteroid that will enter Earth’s vicinity tomorrow is called 2020 KT6. This asteroid has an estimated diameter of about 75 feet. It is expected to zip past the planet at an average velocity of almost 23,000 miles per hour.

The second asteroid that will pass through Earth’s neighborhood on Monday has been identified as 2020 KN2. This asteroid is slightly larger than 2020 KT6, with a diameter of about 98 feet. 2020 KN2 is currently flying through space with an average speed of almost 19,000 miles per hour.

2020 KT6 is classified as an Amor asteroid. According to NASA’s orbit diagram, this space rock follows a wide trajectory around the Sun. It has an orbit that extends between that of Mars and Jupiter.

Like 2020 KT6, 2020 KN2 also has a wide orbiter around the Sun that extends beyond that of Mars. From time to time, however, this asteroid intersects Earth’s path as it completes its cycle around the Sun. Due to its Earth-crossing orbit, it has been classified as a member of the Apollo family of asteroids.

Given the sizes of the approaching asteroids, they most likely won’t cause impact events on Earth, even if they directly hit the planet. Instead of hitting the ground, they will most likely burn up in the atmosphere and produce a huge explosion in the sky, which can produce energy equivalent to multiple atomic bombs.

According to CNEOS, the two incoming asteroids are not in danger of colliding with the planet tomorrow. 2020 KT6 will fly past the planet on June 1 at 12:43 a.m. EDT. It will miss Earth by a distance of about 0.02223 astronomical units or around 2 million miles.

2020 KN2, on the other hand, will approach Earth on June 1 at 9:38 p.m. EDT from a distance of 0.01486 astronomical units or 1.4 million miles away.

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