NASA Alert! Two Huge Asteroids Speeding Towards Earth: Check Time, Distance, And Size

NASA Alert! Two Huge Asteroids Speeding Towards Earth: Check Time, Distance, And Size
NASA Alert! Two Huge Asteroids Speeding Towards Earth: Check Time, Distance, And Size

Updated May 19, 2024, 15:42 IST

NASA alerts about asteroids 2015 WO1 and 2024 JD1 making closer approaches to Earth. Here are all the details about these massive space rocks.

NASA has issued alert for two massive asteroids racing towards Earth at breakneck speeds.

This week brings not one, but two celestial visitors gracing the night sky – asteroids 2015 WO1 and 2024 JD1. While they’ll be making close approaches to Earth at different times, they will be racing towards our planet at breakneck speeds. Let’s delve into the details of these scarily massive space rocks.

Asteroid 2015 WO1: Size, Time, Distance, Speed

First up is 2015 WO1, a member of the Apollo group of asteroids. Asteroids in this group are known for their orbits that occasionally intersect with Earth’s path around the Sun. This particular asteroid is estimated to be a massive 281 feet (85.6 meters) in diameter, roughly the length of a huge building. On May 20, 2024, at 10:09 PM UTC (3:39 AM IST on May 21), 2015 WO1 will make its closest approach, but don’t expect a cosmic near miss. This asteroid will zoom past our planet at a staggering speed of 56,227 kilometers per hour (approximately 34,939 miles per hour), keeping a safe distance of 2.85 million kilometers (approximately 1.77 million miles) from Earth. That’s a reassuring seven times the distance between Earth and the Moon!

Asteroid 2024 JD1: Size, Time, Distance, Speed

Our second celestial guest, 2024 JD1, belongs to the Amor class of asteroids. Amor asteroids typically have orbits that keep them at a relatively safe distance from Earth. This asteroid is estimated to be 87 feet (26.62 meters) in diameter, roughly the size of an airplane. While smaller than 2015 WO1, it’s still a size space rock. 2024 JD1 is set to make its closest approach on May 20, 2024, at 11:54 AM UTC (5:24 PM IST). However, unlike the speedy 2015 WO1, 2024 JD1 will maintain a much wider berth, passing by at a distance of 7.2 million kilometers (approximately 4.5 million miles) from Earth.

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Will These Asteroids Hit Earth?

The Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), a branch of NASA, is tirelessly dedicated to tracking asteroids and comets that could potentially pose a threat to our planet. They categorize “potentially hazardous asteroids” as those exceeding 460 feet (140 meters) in diameter that come within 4.6 million miles (7.5 million kilometers) of Earth’s orbit. Fortunately, both 2015 WO1 and 2024 JD1 fall well outside this zone, giving us peace of mind.

While these asteroid flybys don’t mean any danger, they serve as a captivating reminder of the numerous celestial bodies that share our solar system. Through a global network of observatories, including contributions from dedicated amateur astronomers, CNEOS can meticulously track these objects and ensure our continued safety. So, if you’re looking to add a skywatching event to your calendar this week, stay tuned for updates on the visibility of these two asteroids. With the right conditions, they might just be faintly visible as streaks of light streaking across the night sky, offering a glimpse into the wonders of the cosmos.

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