Sunday, December 5

Asteroid the size of the Eiffel Tower approaches Earth

The 4660 Nereus will travel about ten times the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

Photo: MORGAN SETTE / AFP / Getty Images

NASA space monitors reported that an asteroid the “size of the Eiffel Tower” approaches Earth at speeds of up to 4,000 miles per hour, with “any potentially devastating impact.”

Although it is estimated that on December 11 the space rock will be in the closest location to EarthFortunately, the asteroid called “4660 Nereus” would not pose a threat to humanity.

The 4660 Nereus will travel about 2.4 million miles from Earth, that is, about ten times the distance between our planet and the Moon.

The asteroid is 1,080 feet long, which means it is larger than 90 percent of asteroids, but small compared to the largest on record.

asteroid 4660 Nereus
The 4660 Nereus will travel about ten times the distance between the Earth and the Moon. (Photo: NASA)

Asteroid Alert

Although NASA assures that it “does not represent a threat to humanity”, the asteroid will come another 12 times closer to Earth during the next 175 years, even with closer encounters than on December 11.

The 4660 Nereus orbits the Sun every 664 days and should pass close again in March 2031 and again in November 2050.

How close could it get to Earth?

The closest it will travel to Earth will be in February 2060, when it travels just 750,000 miles away, experts believe.

The asteroid Nereus was identified in 1982 by the American astronomer Eleanor F. Helin and belongs to a group of space rocks called “Apollo”, known to cross the path of the Earth while orbiting the Sun.

It is not the only asteroid near Earth

Last month, an asteroid the size of the Golden Gate Bridge passed close to Earth; The rock, called “1996 VB3,” had a diameter of 720 feet and traveled close to us on the night of October 20 and reached a minimum distance of about two million miles from our planet.

The largest asteroid that has traveled close to Earth this year was “2001 FO32”, and is known as Apophis, the “God of Chaos”, which passed in March with an estimated diameter of 1,100 feet.

In addition, the asteroid Bennu, 500 meters in diameter and one of the main known space threats, will come very close to Earth from the year 2135, although with an “extremely small” probability that it will hit it.

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission has been able to predict Bennu’s trajectory over the next few centuries, with an accuracy of 2 meters, and has estimated that in 2135 the asteroid will pass closer to Earth than the Moon itself.

Interesting? Also read:
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Jupiter and Saturn aligned: how, when and where to see the spectacular great conjunction of both planets

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