TECH

‘Football Field-Sized’ Asteroid Hurtling Towards Earth at Nine Kilometres Per Second

NASA’s Centre for Near Earth Object Studies closely monitors what’s going on above our heads to gauge if there’s anything we should be worried about in space, including big rocks coming right at us.

Yet another speedy rock is expected to skirt past our planet this May, but aside from all other potentially hazardous asteroids that fly by Earth on a daily basis, this object is particularly noticeable for its size.

NASA estimates that “2021 AF8” – the name of the asteroid that was first tracked by scientists in March – is roughly the size of a football field, ranging between 260 to 580 metres in diameter.

In comparison to some of the larger asteroids spotted in space, it’s pretty small, but 2021 AF8 is still larger than 90 percent of objects in the great void, the agency says.

Spacewalker Astronaut Reid Wiseman

It’s currently moving towards our planet at over nine kilometres per second and will hurtle past us on 4 May.

Luckily, the asteroid is expected to safely pass Earth at a distance of 3.4 million kilometres but astronomers are still paying a close attention to the Apollo-class space rock – after all, the it wasn’t dubbed “potentially hazardous” for nothing.

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