An asteroid is approaching Earth. Will this Sunday July 25 and will pass at a distance that National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) considers “close”. The celestial body, similar in size to the Pyramid of Giza (more than 130 meters high), will pass 4.5 million kilometers from our planet.
Even if it is a sufficient safety distance, now that the term is fashionable, NASA is monitoring these rocks in order to learn more about the early solar system (they were formed at that time), but also as a preventive measure: in case of change its orbit, yes that could represent a risk for the planet.
The asteroid, which goes by the name of 2008 GO20, will pass at its closest point to Earth at a distance of 4.5 million kilometers, with a speed of about 29,000 kilometers per hour, according to experts. It is estimated that it has between 97 and 220 meters wide and, according to the established, any body more than 150 meters wide that approaches the Earth within 7.5 million kilometers it is considered as a potentially dangerous asteroid (PHA).
The person in charge of carrying out this follow-up is the NASA Center for Near Earth Object Studies. To get an idea, the distance marked for the observation of these bodies is 19.5 times that between the Earth and the Moon. To date, the asteroid that passed the closest distance (without colliding) was 2020 QG, which on August 16, 2020 passed only 2,950 kilometers from Earth, flying over the Indian Ocean.
An old acquaintance
Qualifying asteroid 2008 GO20 as “potentially dangerous” It is because, over time, the gravitational pull of the planets can make it change its orbital trajectory and cross the Earth’s orbit. If this were the case, NASA indicates, a collision with our planet.
However, this will not be the first time that this asteroid has passed ‘close’ to Earth. The August 4, 1901, when its first presence was registered, it passed 1.3 million kilometers of our planet, according to the data of the American agency. Years later, on July 31, 1935, it passed at a distance of 1.85 million kilometers. And finally, your next visit will be the July 24, 2034, when it will pass about 5 million kilometers of us.