By Chris King • 30 November 2021 • 21:46
NASA reports a 1,000ft asteroid is due to enter Earth's orbit.
According to NASA, in just over one week’s time, a giant asteroid is scheduled to break into Earth’s orbit. This chunk of space rock, said to measure 1.082ft, is apparently larger than the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
On December 11, the current course of Asteroid 4660 Nereus should see it shoot safely past our planet, coming within a distance of 4.6million miles of Earth. By NASA standards though, this places it in the category of “potentially hazardous”, although there is no danger of it impacting our planet.
Travelling at an estimated speed of around 14,700mph, NASA says that Asteroid Nereus should miss Earth by 2.4million miles. This is the equivalent of 10 times the distance between the Moon and Earth. At such a distance, one would wonder what the fuss is all about, but NASA classes any such astral body as a Near-Earth Object (NEO) when they are expected to pass within 120 million miles of Earth.
Apparently, the space company has a table full of NEOs that are constantly being monitored and updated by NASA scientists to ensure none of them is on a collision course with us. Erring on the side of caution, the fact remains that a disaster could occur should one small change take place in their trajectories.
Asteroid Nereus passes Earth frequently and was first discovered by the late American astronomer Eleanor Helin back in 1982. It is such a regular feature in the heaven’s that it was once contemplated to knock it off course by ‘punching’ the Hayabusa spacecraft into it. Eventually, Nasa and the Japanese space agency (JAXA) decided against this, as reported by thesun.co.uk.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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