NASA ALERT! Four Huge Space Rocks Racing Towards Earth: All Details

NASA warns of four asteroids nearing Earth today at alarming speeds. Check all details about these space rocks, including their sizes, speeds, and distances.
Asteroids

NASA warns against four asteroids approaching Earth today.

Today, May 15, 2024, promises a celestial ballet as four asteroids pay Earth a visit. NASA has issued alerts against these space rocks as they make their closest approaches to our planet. While almost every day asteroids travel the cosmic path, some of them are worth raising an alarm for. NASA is keeping a watchful eye on these huge asteroids as they zoom towards Earth at staggering speeds. Should you worry? Here's a breakdown of what we know about these fascinating visitors from the asteroid belt.

Asteroid 2024 JY16: Size, Distance, Speed, Time

Leading the pack is 2024 JY16, an asteroid belonging to the Apollo group, known for their occasional close calls with Earth. This space rock is estimated to be 127 feet (39 metres) in diameter, roughly the size of a commercial airplane. While not a planet-killer, it's still a sizeable asteroid. 2024 JY16 will make its closest approach at 1:10 AM UTC today, zooming past Earth at a scorching speed of 60,496 kilometres per hour (approximately 37,588 miles per hour). Thankfully, it will maintain a safe distance of 336,187 kilometres (approximately 208,893 miles) from our planet.

Asteroid 2021 JN10: Size, Distance, Speed, Time

Next up is 2021 JN10, classified as an Aten asteroid. Unlike Apollo group members, Aten asteroids typically have orbits that keep them farther away from Earth. This 108-foot (33-metre) asteroid will be cruising by at a speedy 48,305 kilometres per hour (approximately 30,014 miles per hour) on its closest approach at 5:29 AM UTC today. However, there's no need to worry – 2021 JN10 will stay very distant, passing Earth by 5.6 million kilometres (approximately 3.5 million miles), which is over 14 times the Earth-Moon distance.

Asteroid 2024 JH15: Size, Distance, Speed, Time

Our third visitor, 2024 JH15, is another member of the Apollo group. This asteroid is estimated to be 42 feet (13 metres) in diameter, roughly the size of a school bus. While smaller than its predecessors, it's still packing some heat, expected to zip past Earth at a speed of 50,848 kilometres per hour (approximately 31,629 miles per hour) at 7:40 AM UTC today. Don't fret – just like the others, 2024 JH15 will keep a safe distance, passing us by at 532,412 kilometres (approximately 330,822 miles).

Asteroid 2021 JJ: Size, Distance, Speed, Time

Our final visitor for the day is 2021 JJ, belonging to the Amor group of asteroids. Amor asteroids generally have orbits that keep them farther out than Earth's orbit. This 91-foot (28-metre) asteroid will be the slowest of the bunch, approaching Earth at a leisurely 20,630 kilometres per hour (approximately 12,820 miles per hour) at 12:31 AM UTC today. Similar to 2021 JN10, it will maintain a safe distance, passing us by at a comfortable 6.4 million kilometres (approximately 4 million miles), which is over 16 times the Earth-Moon distance.

NASA's Role in Monitoring Asteroids

The Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), a NASA program, continuously monitors asteroids and comets to assess any potential impact threats. They define "potentially hazardous asteroids" as those exceeding 460 feet (140 metres) in size that come within 4.6 million miles (7.5 million kilometres) of Earth's orbit. Thankfully, all four asteroids we mentioned today fall well outside this zone.

How Does NASA Track Asteroids?

Tracking these near-Earth objects is a global effort. Data collected by observatories worldwide, including contributions from dedicated amateur astronomers, helps determine the orbital paths of these celestial bodies. Additionally, NASA-funded observatories like Pan-STARRS and NEOWISE play a crucial role in monitoring asteroids.
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