NASA is informing a fairly rough beginning to the week, as the Earth is set for a minimum of five asteroid flybys. It comes hot on the heels of one more asteroid which is suddenly buzzing in between Earth and the Moon without anyone perceiving.
Owing to some whizzing on Earth in this week, only four of the five space rocks were seen in May, which grew concerns about how ready planetary defenses are; even after catching them, scientists had to determine if they had to shoot them out of the sky or deflect, the only two choices present to ward off an asteroid apocalypse this time.
Fortunately, the asteroids, varying in size from 46 feet to 180 feet in diameter, will be deflected by a secure margin of error of between 869,000 miles and 4.1 million miles, a reason why there is no direct issue concerning an approaching burning death raining down from the sky on the top off the economic crises, wildfires, pandemic and the social and civil turmoil which have tormented the Earth so far in the ongoing year.
Nonetheless, another major concern to focus on than the previous week’s celestial visitors is asteroid 2020 LD, which measures 400 ft/122 meters in diameter.
2020 LD crossed from between the Earth and the Moon, and was the largest space rock to do so following 2011, and not a single human being knew about this until it passed on June 5.
Having arrived within 80 percent of the distance between the Earth and the Moon, nearly 190,000 miles or 300,000km, astronomers at the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) studied its course later.
To date, ATLAS has figured out 46 dangerous “potentially hazardous asteroids” (PHAs) which amount to be larger than 500ft (140 meters) in diameter. Although 2020 LD was not a planet killer, it was still bigger than the Chelyabinsk asteroid which resulted in a devastation on Siberia in 2013.
As per astrophysicists’ best present-day evaluations, an asteroid with a diameter of 1,640ft (500m) or higher is evaluated to strike the Earth one time each 130,000 years or so. On April 13, 2029, asteroid 99942 Apophis will graze our geostationary satellites in orbit round the planet.