An asteroid larger than the Statue of Liberty will fly past Earth on Christmas, NASA says

An asteroid larger than the Statue of Liberty will fly past Earth at 8:20 p.m. GMT on Christmas Day, according to NASA’s Center for Near Earth Studies.

The asteroid, named 2014 SD224, will come at a distance of 0.02019 astronomical units or nearly 1.9 million miles from the Earth’s surface.

The 2014 SD224 has a diameter between 92 and 210 meters (302 and 690 feet) – meaning it could be twice the size of the Statue of Liberty (305 feet) or larger than the Salisbury Cathedral (404 feet).

As the SD224 flies past Earth in 2014, it will travel at 10 kilometers per second or more than 22,000 miles per hour – about 30 times faster than sound.

Despite being about eight times farther from the Moon, the asteroid is classified as an object near the Earth (NEO) and is being tracked by the space agency.

Asteroid 2014 SD224 (also known as 501647) and its orbit relative to the orbits of the planets in our solar system. The Earth’s orbit is light blue

DIFFERENT TYPES OF SPATIAL ROCKS

An asteroid is a large piece of rock left over from a collision or early solar system. Most are located between Mars and Jupiter in the main belt.

A comet is a rock covered with ice, methane and other compounds. Their orbits take them much farther from the solar system.

A meteor astronomers call a flash of light in the atmosphere when waste burns.

This waste is known as a meteoroid. Most are so small that they evaporate into the atmosphere.

If any of this meteoroid reaches Earth, it is called a meteorite.

Meteors, meteoroids, and meteorites usually originate from asteroids and comets.

Although the 2014 SD224 – which can be tracked on NASA’s website – is 1.9 million miles away, it is relatively close in astronomical terms.

For this reason, NEO defines 2014 SD224, although it is not expected to cause harm.

NEOs are an asteroid or comet whose orbit introduces it into or through a zone between approximately 91 million and 121 miles (195 million km) from the Sun, meaning it can travel about 50 million kilometers from Earth’s orbit.

If the object is larger than 140 meters (460 feet), it is considered a potentially dangerous object (PHO).

‘NEOs are comets and asteroids that have been pushed into orbits by the gravitational pull of nearby planets that allow them to enter the Earth’s neighborhood,’ NASA said.

‘Composed mainly of water ice with embedded dust particles, comets originally formed in a cold outer planetary system, while most rocky asteroids formed in a warmer inner solar system between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

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

According to publicly available NASA data, 24,629 NEOs have been discovered since Tuesday.

It is estimated that there are about 25,000 objects close to Earth (NEO) larger than 140 meters.

It is also estimated that there are 1,000 NEOs larger than 3,280 feet (one kilometer), emphasizing the need to track these space rocks.

On average, the Earth is hit by a rock the size of a football field every 5,000 years and an asteroid that completes civilization every million years, according to NASA’s Near-Earth Program.

NEOs are an asteroid or comet whose orbit introduces it into or through a zone between approximately 91 million and 121 miles (195 million km) from the Sun, meaning it can pass about 50 million kilometers from Earth's orbit (stock image)

NEOs are an asteroid or comet whose orbit brings it to or through a zone between approximately 91 million and 121 miles (195 million km) from the Sun, meaning it can pass about 30 million miles (50 million km) from Earth’s orbit. )

“By continuously searching for asteroids, we expect to find most hundred-meter asteroids in time, as each passes our planet many years or decades before a possible impact,” Paul Chodas, director of NASA’s Center for Near Earth Studies, told Newsweek.

“We’ve already found more than 95 percent of really large asteroids (1 kilometer or more in size) and we know that none of them have a chance to affect them over the next century.”

Last month, it was discovered that an asteroid the size of a London bus missed the Earth by only 386 km – on Friday the 13th.

The space rock, dubbed the ‘2020 VT4’, was spotted just 15 hours after its closest approach by the Asteroid Earth’s last warning system on Mauna Loi, Hawaii.

If it approached, a body 16 to 33 feet (5 to 10 feet) wide would burn up in the atmosphere over the South Pacific.

Its orbit brought it approximately the same distance from Earth as the International Space Station, making it the closest asteroid to pass by Earth to date.

Astronomers hunt asteroids larger than 450 feet because they can cause ‘catastrophic damage’

Researchers have discovered most asteroids about a kilometer in size, but now those about 140 meters away are being hunted – because they could cause catastrophic damage.

Although no one knows when the next big hit will happen, scientists have come under pressure to predict and prevent its arrival.

In the pictures the artist's impression

In the pictures the artist’s impression

“Sooner or later we will have … a greater or lesser impact,” said Rolf Densing, who heads the European Space Operations Center (ESOC) in Darmstadt.

It may not happen in our lives, he said, but “the risk that the Earth will one day be hit by devastating events is very high.”

“There’s little we can do for now.”

Source: AFP

.Source