NASA: Agency releases photo of star cluster from Milky Way galaxy taken by the Hubble Space Telescope
Asteroids: NASA reveals potentially hazardous asteroid 2011 ES4 to pass by closer than the Moon
Space agencies such as NASA are constantly on the lookout for asteroids that would wander into the Earth’s orbit. With the news of one particularly hazardous asteroid making its way Earthbound, NASA revealed when it will be passing by and how close it will get.
NASA reveals that asteroid 2011 ES4 will be making its way towards Earth next month in September. ES4 measures 150 feet in diameter and is traveling through space at a speed of 29, 375 kilometers per hour. NASA has listed this asteroid as making a “close approach” as when it arrives by September 1st, it will pass by much closer than the Moon. ES4 will get as close as a surprising 44,618 miles, much closer compared to the Earth’s distance from the Moon, which is at 384,399 kilometers away.
However, even if NASA has classified ES4 as potentially hazardous, it still poses no threat because of its size, which is a fraction of a kilometer in diameter. Asteroids that are close to a kilometer or exceed that are considered to pose a threat as a potential collision could bring catastrophic events on a global scale.
Relatively smaller asteroids will likely burn up on entry when it comes into contact with the atmosphere. However, there are small asteroids that manage to slip past the space agencies’ asteroid trackers. Asteroids that fall somewhere in between will likely only impact the local area where it has crashed, and there is a big chance that it would hit water rather than land.
Onto another asteroid, NASA, in partnership with the University of Hawaii, has released footage of an asteroid’s fly-by to Earth. The asteroid seen passing by in the footage was 2020 OO1, a relatively small space rock that measured 65 feet, back on July 27.
The astronomers at UH were able to capture the moment with telescopes from the Las Cumbres Observatory global telescope network. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic forcing scientists to stay at home and temporarily close down observatories, they were still able to observe the celestial objects through remotely-operated telescopes.
NASA released the footage around the time China is pressing forward with its respective space missions.