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Asteroids: Upcoming Asteroid Day sees no asteroids making a close approach
Asteroid Day is celebrated at the end of June every year, and this is the sixth year that such a day is celebrated. However, despite it being a day celebrating space rocks, there will not be any asteroid passing by Earth on that day.
Business Insider reports that 2020 is the sixth year that Asteroid Day will be celebrated, every June 30th to be exact. The date is significant as it is the anniversary of the Siberia Tunguska event, named after the Tunguska asteroid that was the largest rock to ever pass through the atmosphere in modern history back in 1908. It was co-founded in 2015 by Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May, filmmaker Greg Richters, Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweikart, and B612 President Danica Remy. However, on the day itself, no asteroids are reported to make an approach to Earth, despite there being a fly-by the day before, June 29th, and the day after July 1st.
On June 29th, the day before Asteroid Day, 2020 JX1 will be making an approach to Earth. It measures in the range of 47 to 100 meters in diameter and would be seen passing through space at a rate of 17, 784 kilometers per hour. The day after Asteroid Day, July 1st, asteroid 2019 AC3 will be the one making an approach. AC3 is much smaller compared to JX1 as it measures between 9.2 to 21 meters in diameter and was seen hurtling through space at a rate of 12, 060 kilometers per hour.
Fortunately, these asteroids will only fly by and will not pose a threat to Earth. AC3 is most especially considered not a threat because of its size as it will most likely burn up when it comes into contact with the atmosphere.
Previously, an asteroid passed by Earth last week on the 25th of June. The asteroid is named 2020 MP1 and got as close as 460,000 kilometers. This asteroid is classified as a Near-Earth Object and was captured by the Virtual Telescope Project in Italy by astronomer Gianluca Masi.
MP1 measures between 55 feet to 121 feet in diameter, making it relatively small and was passing through space at a rate of 17, 559 miles per hour.