KEY POINTS

  • NASA detected 6 asteroids approaching Earth
  • The biggest in the group measures 1,280 feet wide
  • 2012 XA133 can cause a major impact event on Earth

NASA warned that Earth is about to get visited by a total of 6 asteroids this week. The biggest space rock in the group is larger than the Empire State building.

According to NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the first asteroid that will enter the planet’s neighborhood is called 2020 FF. This asteroid, which is the smallest in the group, has an estimated diameter of about 85 feet. It is currently traveling across space at a speed of almost 13,000 miles per hour.

2020 FF will fly past Earth on March 24 at 12:06 am EDT from a distance of around 0.04061 astronomical units or roughly 3.8 million miles away.

The second asteroid that will arrive this week is known as 2020 FB. According to CNEOS, this asteroid measures about 177 feet wide. It is approaching Earth with a velocity of over 10,000 miles per hour.

CNEOS estimated that this asteroid would approach Earth on March 25 at 12:02 pm EDT. During this time, it will be about 0.02202 astronomical units or around 2 million miles from the planet’s center.

Trailing behind 2020 FB is an asteroid identified as 2020 FP. CNEOS noted that this asteroid is currently cruising across the Solar System at a speed of over 21,000 miles per hour. It has an estimated diameter of about 128 feet.

2020 FP is expected to visit Earth’s vicinity on March 26 at 7:39 pm EDT. It will fly past the planet from a distance of 0.03765 astronomical units or around 3.5 million miles away.

The next space rock that will zip past the planet is a potentially hazardous asteroid known as 2012 XA133. According to CNEOS, this asteroid measures about 1,280 feet wide, which means it can cause a major impact on Earth if it collides with the planet.

This massive asteroid will approach Earth on March 26 at 10:52 pm EDT at a speed of almost 53,000 miles per hour. During this time, it will be about 0.04453 astronomical units or roughly 4.1 million miles from the planet’s center.

Closely following 2012 XA133 is an asteroid known as 2020 FE2. This asteroid has an estimated diameter of 148 feet and is moving towards Earth at a speed of almost 16,000 miles per hour.

2020 FE2 is expected to fly past Earth on March 28 at 8:13 am EDT from the distance of 0.01158 astronomical units or about 1 million miles away.

The last asteroid that will approach Earth this week is called 2010 GD35. According to CNEOS, this asteroid measures about 233 feet wide. It will enter Earth’s neighborhood on March 29 at 2:19 pm EDT at a speed of almost 27,000 miles per hour.

During its approach, the asteroid will be about 0.03908 astronomical units from Earth’s center, which is equivalent to around 3.6 million miles away.

asteroids This artist's animation illustrates a massive asteroid belt in orbit around a star the same age and size as our Sun. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech