According to NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, the asteroid is four times the size of the Empire State Building (a skyscraper in New York City in the United States, consisting of more than 100 floors and a height of 381 meters. It remained the highest in the world for more than 40 years), and that it will approach Earth on May 27, according to the specialized scientific website “Live Science”.
NASA explained that the asteroid, called 7335 (1989 JA), will pass by our planet about 2.5 million miles (4 million km); Or roughly 10 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon.
However, due to the massive size of the space rock (which is 1.1 miles or 1.8 km in diameter) and its relative proximity to Earth, NASA has classified the asteroid as “potentially dangerous”, which means that it could do serious damage to our planet if its orbit was constantly changing and rocks. affect the earth.
According to the agency, 7335 (1989 JA) is the largest asteroid that will approach Earth this year; Scientists estimate that the asteroid is traveling at about 47,200 mph (76,000 km/h), or 20 times faster than a bullet. It will not pass close to Earth until June 23, 2055; When it passes at a further distance, it is about 70 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon.
This asteroid also fits into the class of asteroids called “Apollo-class” that revolve around the sun while periodically transiting the Earth’s orbit, and astronomers know about 15,000 of these asteroids.
This asteroid is one of the 29,000 near-Earth objects that NASA tracks every year. It recently launched a mission to test whether potentially dangerous asteroids could one day veer off course and collide with Earth.
In November 2021, NASA launched a spacecraft called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) that will collide head-on with the 525-foot-wide (160-meter) asteroid Demorphos in the fall of 2022. The collision will not destroy the asteroid, according to location, but it may change its orbital path slightly.
The European space mission “HERA” also plans to examine the asteroids Didymos and Demorphos in 2026, to examine the possibility of deflecting the path of asteroids that may collide with Earth.
HERA is a defense mission of the European Space Agency for the planet, in cooperation with the American NASA, and aims to verify whether it is possible to deviate the path of asteroids that may collide with Earth through the directed and programmed impact of a space missile.
Hera is scheduled to be launched in October 2024 and its encounter with an asteroid will occur in December 2026.