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Asteroids Approaching Earth: NASA’s Watchful Eye and Potential Risks

4.6 billion years ago, in the solar system that formed, various celestial bodies such as planets, moons, asteroids, and comets were included, creating the entire solar system. All these bodies orbit around the Sun. Compared to Earth, the Sun is about 13 million times larger and is continuously orbiting around the center of our Milky Way galaxy. Similarly, along with the planets, asteroids also revolve around the Sun. According to NASA, about 13 million asteroids have been discovered so far. On the other hand, there are approximately 16,000 asteroids near Earth, out of which about 2,000 have been identified as potentially hazardous because they could collide with Earth at any time.

Collisions of asteroids with Earth are very rare events, but their possibility cannot be denied. Therefore, the American space agency NASA keeps a constant watch on asteroids. According to NASA, there are three asteroids that will come close to Earth today and tomorrow. These rocky fragments are moving continuously closer to Earth’s direction. Let’s find out what information NASA has provided about these upcoming asteroids.

Asteroid 2020 UQ3 is approaching Earth today. According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), this rocky fragment is about 190 feet in size and will come within a distance of approximately 1,220,000 kilometers from Earth. That’s around 1.2 million kilometers away. NASA says that asteroids coming within 7.5 million kilometers pose a threat to Earth. Asteroid 2020 UQ3 has been measured to have a speed of 33,387 kilometers per hour, meaning it is moving faster than 3.3 million kilometers per hour towards Earth.

Apart from this, Asteroid 2023 OA will also pass close to Earth in the next 24 hours. It measures about 58 feet, similar to the size of a large house. It will come within a distance of about 2,360,000 kilometers from Earth. Another asteroid, 2023 NE1, is also approaching Earth and will be closest on July 18th. Asteroid 2023 NE1 has a size of about 190 feet, similar to that of a commercial airplane. When it gets closest to Earth, the distance between it and Earth will be about 4,880,000 kilometers. Its speed is measured to be 20,345 kilometers per hour.

The potential danger of these three asteroids orbiting close to Earth will last for the next 24 hours. However, NASA has not issued any warning about any of these asteroids colliding with Earth. While asteroid impacts are rare, they do occur occasionally. Recently, there was news of a fragment of an asteroid falling on a house in Hopewell, New Jersey, USA. According to the report, the fragment weighed about 1.8 kilograms. When asteroids enter Earth’s atmosphere, they may not entirely burn up and the remaining fragments can impact the Earth’s surface. Similarly, asteroids can also collide with Earth, which is a considerable possibility.

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