This week two asteroids, 2021 HC3, and 2021 AE4 — roughly the size of football fields —are expected to glide safely past our Earth. NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) predicts the close encounters.
The two asteroids are expected to be 18 times farther away from us than our Moon, according to Newsweek. Astronomers calculate the distance in AU or Astronomical Units, which is the distance from the Earth to the Sun. The two asteroids scheduled to make a pass are .0047 AU’s away or 4.3 million miles. Because of their proximity to Earth, they are considered PHA’s or Potentially Hazardous Asteroids. The asteroid 2021 HC3 will pass Earth on Tuesday at 2:05 pm EST. The asteroid 2021 AE4 will pass at approximately 11:59 am EST on Thursday. CNEOS believes HC3 is about 460 feet in diameter or about football field size but believes it could be as big as the Empire State building at 984 feet. The size of AE4 is estimated at 393 feet diameter, with the possibility of being as big as 853 feet.
It’s rare, however, for a space rock of significant size to impact Earth. An asteroid at around 328 feet is expected to come in contact with Earth every 10,000 years. It would cause local disasters. A space rock roughly larger than the Empire State building at .6 kilometers around is expected around every 100,000 years and would affect the whole planet.
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