A colossal space rock is on its way to our planet at the start of the new year, warned the US space agency NASA.
The asteroid is known as the 2020 YA1, and at 16 meters wide it is larger than a double-decker bus.
Before that, the last asteroid of this year, the YB4 2020, measuring 36 meters in diameter or about half the wingspan of a 747, passed through Earth shortly after 6 a.m. 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 came out of 2020 somewhat intact.
However, in the first days of January, three additional Small Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) will honor Earth with their presence, for a brief period.
NASA has revealed that the asteroid will fly close to Earth just 4.1 times the distance between Earth and the Moon, or the equivalent of about 979,094 miles from our planet.
Although it appears to be a considerable distance, it is close enough that NASA can determine that it is a “ near-earth object. ” (NEO)’
Remains of the solar system
Near-Earth objects 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: “Near-Earth objects are comets and asteroids that have been pushed by the gravitational pull of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the vicinity of Earth.
“The scientific interest in comets and asteroids is largely due to their status as relatively unchanged remaining debris from the process of forming the solar system about 4.6 billion years ago,” NASA said.
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