A “potentially dangerous” asteroid the length of the Eiffel Tower will fly past Earth today (April 26). But fear not, according to NASA, a huge space rock will fly past our planet safely.
an asteroid known as 2006 XB5 (will open in a new tab)reached its closest point to Earth at about 00:00 ET at a distance of about 1.5 million miles (2.4 million kilometers), according to Center for the Study of Near-Earth Objects (CNEOS) (will open in a new tab) at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. This is more than six times farther from our planet than the Moon.
According to CNEOS, 2006 HV5 is about 1,007 feet (307 meters) wide, plus or minus 249 feet (76 m). V Eiffel Tower stands at an altitude of 1082 feet (330 m).
The massive space rock moves at about 38,900 miles per hour (62,600 km/h) relative to Earth and takes about 282 days to orbit the sun, according to CNEOS.
Connected: A “potentially dangerous” asteroid that recently swept past the Earth is an elongated strange figure with a strange rotation.
A potentially dangerous asteroid (PHA) any asteroid is over 460 feet (140 m) in diameter and is 4.65 million miles (7.48 million km) from Earth, about 20 times the average distance between Earth and the Moon. About 2,300 PGAs are known, and although most of them will never get close to Earth, they are large enough to cause catastrophic damage if they hit our planet.
But even if one of those giants were to head straight for Earth, NASA is now quite confident that it could knock a space rock off course thanks to the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, which successfully redirected to asteroid crashing into it with a spacecraft in September 2022.
2006 HV5 is not the only PHA to have swept past Earth recently.
April 6 PHA measuring 393 to 853 feet (120 to 260 m) across passed within 1.8 million miles (2.9 million km) of Earth. And the huge PHA, which measured from 1900 to 4265 feet (580 to 1300 m), passed Earth on February 15 at a distance of about 2.8 million miles (4.5 million km) from our planet.
Between February 27 and 28, two more PHAs – 2006 BE55 and 2012 DK31, both about 450 feet (137 m) across – sailed safely past Earth. along with a third, smaller asteroid.