An asteroid is going to fly past the Earth today and the space research organization NASA is keeping a lookout for it, as per reports. It seems that the space rock is set to fly past the planet at a distance of 429,846 miles around 200,000 miles further away than the Moon is to the Earth on average.
The asteroid is moving at a speed of 5.2 km per second, which is similar to 19,000 km per hour. It is only around six meters wide as per the observations of NASA, and if it impacted the planet it will simply burn up the atmosphere of the Earth, appearing as if it was a shooting star.
Asteroid to Fly Past Earth
After flying past the planet the rock, which is named 2020 WC4 is going to continue its travel around the Sun, as reported by Express Online. NASA has classified it as a near-Earth object that allows them to study what is in the solar system.
"NEOs are comets and asteroids that have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth's neighborhood. The scientific interest in comets and asteroids is due largely to their status as the relatively unchanged remnant debris from the solar system formation process some 4.6 billion years ago," NASA stated.
"The giant outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) formed an agglomeration of billions of comets, and the leftover bits and pieces from the formation process are the comets we see today," the organization added.
New research has revealed that Earth is not safe from the asteroids, leaving aside one named Apophis. Last month an astronomer revealed that the 370-meter asteroid can hit the Earth. Researchers had initially ruled out a collision in 2068, but a study shows that there is a small chance that the space rock can hit Earth.