NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) has detected three asteroids that are expected to approach the planet tomorrow. According to the data collected by the agency, all three asteroids have Earth-intersecting orbits.
The first asteroid that will approach Earth has been identified by CNEOS as 2020 FH. As indicated in CNEOS’s database, this asteroid is currently traveling across the Solar System towards Earth at a speed of almost 21,000 miles per hour.
According to CNEOS, 2020 FH is the biggest asteroid in the group. It has an estimated diameter of about 118 feet.
2020 FH is expected to fly past Earth on March 18 at 5:15 am EDT. During its approach, the asteroid will be about 0.01551 astronomical units from the planet’s surface, which is equivalent to around 1.4 million miles away.
Trailing behind 2020 FH is a much smaller asteroid known as 2020 FG. CNEOS estimated that this asteroid measures about 52 feet wide. It is currently approaching Earth at a speed of almost 34,000 miles per hour.
2020 FG is expected to approach Earth from a much closer distance compared to 2020 FH. According to CNEOS, 2020 FG will zip past the planet on March 18 at 3:35 pm EDT from a distance of about 0.00367 astronomical units or around 341,000 miles away.
The last asteroid that will visit Earth’s vicinity tomorrow is called 2020 EF. CNEOS noted that this asteroid has an estimated diameter of about 102 feet. It is flying across space towards Earth with a velocity of over 10,000 miles per hour.
2020 EF will make its close-Earth approach on March 8 at 11:15 pm EDT. During this time, the asteroid will fly past the planet from a distance of 0.04239 astronomical units away, or around 3.9 million miles from Earth’s center.
Both 2020 FH and 2020 FG are categorized as Apollo asteroids. 2020 EF, on the other hand, belongs to the Aten family of space rocks. Although they have different classifications, these three asteroids follow Earth-crossing orbits. This means they are known to intersect Earth’s path as they complete their cycles around the Sun.