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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Aeroplane-size asteroid to cross Earth’s orbit today

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An asteroid the size of an aeroplane will be crossing the Earth’s orbit today, according to NASA which expects that the space rock will not cause any harm to our home planet.

As it crosses orbit today, the near-Earth asteroid named 2020 RK2 will be about 38,30,238 kilometres away from Earth.

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In terms of size, the asteroid is about 80 metres wide (which is as large as a Boeing 747) and travelling at the speed of 6.68km per second.

NASA also disclosed that after the asteroid zooms past the Earth’s orbit, it is not likely to visit us again until August 2027.

Last month, a smaller school bus-size asteroid briefly visited the Earth’s orbit and was about 22,000 kilometres away.

NASA last month announced a new memorandum of understanding with the US Department of Defence that commits the two organisations to broad collaboration in areas including human spaceflight, US space policy, space transportation, standards and best practices for safe operations in space, scientific research, and planetary defence.

“NASA is tasked with discovering and tracking near-Earth #asteroids. Deep space survey and tracking technology is an area of collaboration between @NASA and @SpaceForceDOD,” NASA Asteroid Watch, the Planetary Defence Coordination Office of the US space agency, said in a tweet.

Those who wish to track, the asteroid’s live location can do so by visiting this website. The site also features asteroid rise and visibility times as well as a simplified sky chart. Currently, the asteroid is in the Andromeda constellation.

IANS

READ ALSO: This International Asteroid Day, learn more about asteroids

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