An Asteroid The Size Of The Eiffel Tower Will Whiz Past The Earth Next Month

An asteroid will fly past the earth next week that is believed to be taller than the Eiffel Tower. NASA has dubbed the asteroid as potentially hazardous, but it is expected to pass by the earth safely. Asteroids are investigated by examining their size and distance from the Earth to determine if they pose a potential hazard.

The asteroid is 2021 KT1 and will make its close approach to Earth on June 1 at about 10:24 AM EDT. We should all keep in mind that what is dubbed close when talking in cosmic terms is extremely far away from the planet. 2021 KT1 is expected to pass by the Earth at a distance of about 4.5 million miles.

That distance is approximately 19 times the distance between the earth and the moon. Despite that vast distance, it is still considered a near approach. When the asteroid flies by the earth, it will be at traveling extremely fast at a speed of roughly 40,000 mph. The asteroid is estimated to be between 492 feet and 1082 feet in diameter, which is about the size of three football fields combined.

The Center for Near-Earth object studies issued a statement pointing out that we are much more likely to be injured in auto accidents, by disease, and other natural disasters than from a near-Earth asteroid. The chances of an asteroid impact with the earth are incredibly slim, but never zero.

The earth has been impacted by massive comets and asteroids in the past, one of which famously led to the extinction of most species on the planet. With such catastrophic consequences, programs to discover asteroids that pose a potential hazard to the earth are operated around the world.