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Massive, stadium-sized asteroid to fly past Earth soon. Details

In March this year, the largest asteroid passed through Earth at a speed 124,000 kph. 

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Published on: July 21, 2021 12:12 IST

Stadium-sized asteroid to whizz past Earth on July 24

An asteroid, as big as a stadium is fast approaching the Earth and NASA has already warned about it. According to the details, the asteroid, named  '2008Go20' is set to fly past the Earth on July 24. The asteroid is cruising at over 8 kilometres per second, which is around 28,800 km/hour, a speed so high that anything coming in its way will suffer extreme catastrophe. The near-Earth object (NEO) is 20 meters wide and will be zooming by at a distance of 28,70,847,607 km, eight times the distance between Earth and the Moon.

The movement of the asteroid is under observation by NASA and its orbit close to the planet has been classified as Apollo. 

What are asteroids?

An asteroid is a minor planet of the inner Solar System. Historically, these terms have been applied to any astronomical object orbiting the Sun that did not resolve into a disc in a telescope and was not observed to have characteristics of an active comet such as a tail. As minor planets in the outer Solar System were discovered that were found to have volatile-rich surfaces similar to comets, these came to be distinguished from the objects found in the main asteroid belt.

The term "asteroid" refers to the minor planets of the inner Solar System, including that co-orbital with Jupiter. Larger asteroids are often called planetoids.

In March this year, the largest asteroid passed through Earth at a speed 124,000 kph. 

"The reason for the asteroid's unusually speedy close approach is its highly inclined and elongated (or eccentric) orbit around the Sun, an orbit that is tilted 39 degrees to Earth's orbital plane," NASA had then explained.

Meanwhile, World Asteroid Day was celebrated on June 30. It is usually observed in order to raise public awareness about asteroid’s hazardous effect and the measures that should be taken in case of a near-Earth object threat. 

The United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) designated the day as the anniversary of the Tunguska impact over Siberia, which happened in the year 1908. Tunguska is the largest asteroid till date that affected the earth.

The day was co-founded by scientist Stephen Hawking, filmmaker Grigorij Richters, B612 Foundation President, Danica Remy, Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart, and Brian May, guitarist of the rock band Queen and astrophysicist. 

Also Read | NASA's Hubble space telescope returns to science operations

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