An asteroid that could be almost 600 feet wide was set to fly by Earth on Saturday, passing us at a speed of over 29,000 miles per hour.
The asteroid, named 2020 TY1, was first discovered in October. It is expected to pass at a distance of about 3.5 million miles, which is about 14 times the distance between Earth and Moon, has that is, it poses no risk to our planet.
It is one of the largest asteroids to pass through Earth in recent weeks, with the last of the same size asteroid passing on Oct. 22. The space rock is estimated to be between 260 and 590. feet, making it about the same size as the Pyramid of Giza, 455 feet tall.
Despite traversing the Earth by millions of miles, 2020 TY1is considered a near-Earth object (NEO). NASA tracks the orbits of these objects to assist the agency’s plan to protect the planet. This initiative allows NASA to detect and track identified potentially dangerous objects like anything that comes within five million miles of Earth that measures over 100 feet wide. NASA says an object of this size or larger is capable of causing significant damage to the Earth.
On day 2, an asteroid that was extremely close to Earth under astronomical conditions passed us by at a distance of about 4,000 miles. Before it got close, astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson said the 2018 VP1 asteroid would “cut off” Earth. “It’s not big enough to do harm,” he wrote. “So if the World ends in 2020, it’s not Universe’s fault.”
According to data from the Center for Near-Earth Objects Research (CNEOS), the asteroid, up to 12 feet wide, is the closest asteroid to have passed to Earth in the past 12 months.
Another asteroid is also set to fly by Earth on Saturday, with objects known as the 2019 XS passing through us at a distance of about 3.4 million miles. This object is estimated to be 280 feet wide.
At the end of the month, a giant asteroid will approach it. The object, named 2000 WO107, is 2,690 feet wide. It will hit Earth on November 29 – exactly 20 years from when it was first discovered. The 2000 WO107 is expected to pass at a minimum distance of 2.7 million miles, traveling at a speed of about 56,000 miles per hour.