WASHINGTON: An asteroid with diameters between 22 and 49 metres will shoot pass Earth in a distance closer than Earth from the Moon on September 1, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
“Will asteroid 2011 ES4 hit Earth? No! 2011 ES4’s close approach is ‘close’ on an astronomical scale but poses no danger of actually hitting Earth. Planetary defence experts expect it to safely pass by at least 45,000 miles (792,000 football fields) away on Tuesday, September 1,” NASA Asteroid Watch tweeted on Saturday.
NASA estimates the asteroid’s relative speed at around 8.16 kilometres per second.
The last time asteroid 2011 ES4 fly by the Earth was visible from ground for four days. This time, it will be closer to our planet than before with an estimated distance of 1.2 lakh kilometres, closer than that of the Moon, which is 3.84 lakh kilometres away from the Earth.
The asteroid, listed as a potentially hazardous asteroid, was first discovered in the spring of 2011 and passes by Earth every nine years.
A “potentially hazardous asteroid” is currently defined based on parameters that measure the asteroid’s potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth, according to NASA.