An asteroid will make a close pass by the Earth on April 10. The asteroid is called 2021 GT3, and it’s a small asteroid measuring about 19 meters across. It will pass between the earth and the moon at a distance of approximately 255,886 kilometers.
While that is certainly a long way from impacting Earth, it’s a very close flyby in the cosmic scale of things. The asteroid poses no threat to the Earth, and even if it did enter the atmosphere, its relatively small size would be unlikely to cause any harm to people on the ground.
Interestingly, less than a month after 2021 GT3 flies by the earth, another asteroid called 2021 AF8, which is much larger at between 260 to 580 meters wide, will make its flyby of the Earth. That asteroid is traveling at a very high rate of speed of nine kilometers per second. It’s expected to pass by the Earth at about 3.4 million kilometers.
Another interesting tidbit from history is that famed physician and astrologer Nostradamus predicted an asteroid would hit the Earth in 2021. The good news is that neither of these asteroids poses any real threat to the Earth. In other asteroid news, NASA is gearing up for OSIRIS-REx to depart asteroid Bennu.
The spacecraft landed briefly on the asteroid’s surface, creating a crater with its instruments and gathered up samples to bring back to Earth. NASA expects the spacecraft to stay in the vicinity of the asteroid until around May 10. It will take about two years for OSIRIS-REx to return to Earth with its samples. Scientists around the world are anxiously awaiting the day they can get their hands on the samples for testing.