On Wednesday (22), a space rock orbiting the Sun will pass as close as possible to our planet. This is asteroid 2021 NY1, which, at 11:42 a.m. EDT, will be approximately 1.5 million kilometers from Earth — a distance four times the distance between us and the Moon. Since this distance is safe enough that there is no danger of collision with the ground.
The asteroid in question is classified as a “Near-Earth Orbit Object” (or “NEO”, an abbreviation for it in English), has an absolute size of 21.5 and a diameter between 130 m and 300 m, dimensions that can reach those dimensions. Up to three football fields. As it passes through the areas around us, the asteroid will travel at a speed of 9.35 km / s and will pass a sufficiently safe distance. Since the asteroid will pass through here during the day, it cannot be observed; Only after day 25 will it begin to appear during the night, so it must be monitored with dedicated telescopes.
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“During this approach, the object will be a very interesting target for optical and radar observatories, which will allow to determine the physical properties of this near-Earth object, as well as allow assessment of possible changes in its orbit,” explains Dr. Philip. Montero, an astronomer at the National Observatory. “Because it is a potentially dangerous object, knowing its physical properties is very important for predicting its orbital evolution, and thus assessing the risks of impact on Earth in the future,” Montero said.
You are asteroids They do not have stable orbits and can have unexpected changes in their paths as a function of the gravitational pull of the planets and the sun – so it is important to keep track of them. Thus 2021 NY1 has been considered a potential hazard, a classification based on criteria that calculates the chances of asteroids approaching that could threaten Earth, ending us with up to 0.05 AU with an absolute size of 22. How many asteroids are near Earth that we don’t know all of them, It is important to discover and study the characteristics of those who have any potential to endanger us.
It won’t be the last time 2021 NY1 gets close to Earth: in 2044, a new encounter will return where we’ll have 0.038 AU, so this week’s approach will be the biggest in this century. After that, a new pass will occur in the year 2105, the year in which the asteroid will pass through our planet at 0.018 astronomical units.
Source: National Observatory
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