A colossal space rock is about to approach our planet at the beginning of the New Year, warned the US space agency NASA.
The asteroid is known as YA1 2020 and has a width of 16 meters, is larger than a double-decker bus.
Before that, the last asteroid of this year, YB4 in 2020, with a diameter of 36 meters or about half the wingspan of a 747, passed by Earth shortly after 06:00 UTC at a distance of 6, 1 million kilometers.
This means that, in terms of the threat posed by space rocks at least, the planet has made it somewhat intact since 2020.
However, in the first days of January, three more additional objects near the Earth (NEO) will thank the Earth for their presence for a short time.
NASA has revealed that the asteroid will fly on Earth just 4.1 times the distance between Earth and the Moon, the equivalent of about 979,094 miles from our planet.
Although it appears to be a considerable distance, it is close enough for NASA to make it an “object close to Earth.” (NEO)’
Remains of the solar system
NEOs are remnants of the solar system and, as such, NASA can use them to study the history of our host star and its orbiting planets.
NASA said on its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) website: “NEOs are comets and asteroids that have been pushed by the gravitational pull of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter Earth’s vicinity.
“The scientific interest in comets and asteroids is largely due to their relatively unchanged status in the formation of the solar system about 4.6 billion years ago,” NASA said.
Also on thesouthafrican.com: NASA records incredible images of Jupiter’s lightning storms