NASA says asteroid nearly twice the size of Dock Tower heading close to Earth

NASA says asteroid nearly twice the size of Dock Tower heading close to Earth

NASA says an asteroid thought to be nearly twice the size of a Grimsby landmark will come near to the Earth this month.

The space rock – which is nearly twice the size of the Dock Tower – will make a close approach to our planet.

It has been branded “potentially hazardous” by space experts in the US.

NASA says an asteroid thought to be nearly twice the size of a Grimsby landmark approaching Earth

The space agency has given the asteroid the name Asteroid 2020ND, reports Birmingham Live.

The rock is gigantic, measuring in at 170 metres, and will make its closest approach to Earth on July 24.

It will come within just 0.034 astronomical units (AU) of our planet, NASA has warned.

The space rock – which is nearly twice the size of the Dock Tower – will make a close approach to our planet
The space rock – which is nearly twice the size of the Dock Tower – will make a close approach to our planet

The space agency said: “Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are currently defined based on parameters that measure the asteroid’s potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth.

“Specifically, all asteroids with a minimum orbit intersection distance (MOID) of 0.05 au or less are considered PHAs.”

NASA said on its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) website: “NEOs are comets and asteroids that have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth’s neighbourhood.

The rock is gigantic, measuring in at 170 metres, and will make its closest approach to Earth on July 24
The rock is gigantic, measuring in at 170 metres, and will make its closest approach to Earth on July 24

“The scientific interest in comets and asteroids is due largely to their status as the relatively unchanged remnant debris from the solar system formation process some 4.6 billion years ago.

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“The giant outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) formed from an agglomeration of billions of comets and the left over bits and pieces from this formation process are the comets we see today.

“Likewise, today’s asteroids are the bits and pieces left over from the initial agglomeration of the inner planets that include Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.”

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