5 asteroids, including one the size of a sports stadium, to pass near Earth this week

NEWS: 5 asteroids, including one the size of a sports stadium, to pass near Earth this week


An asteroid the size of a sports stadium was hurdling towards the Earth this week and will be joined by four other celestial near-misses, with the largest expected to pass within less than 2 million miles of the Blue Planet on Friday.

Asteroid 2008 OS7 is approximately 890 feet in diameter, according to NASA, and will make its closest Earth approach on Feb. 2, when the space rock, first discovered in 2008, is expected to miss us by 1.77 million miles.

Although there’s no risk of impact, its distance is still cutting it close enough to land it on the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Asteroid Watch website, which tracks the next five asteroid approaches.

2008 OS7’s near miss will cap off a week that will see a volley of other asteroids passing a bit too close to comfort to the world as we know it.

On Sunday, 2024 AU4, a “building-size” asteroid approximately 260 feet in diameter, will miss the Earth by approximately 3.92 million miles at its closest point.

Then on Tuesday, 2007 EG will pass a bit closer, the “airplane-size” asteroid expected to sail by at a distance of around 3.8 million miles.


Five asteroids are expected to pass within less than 2 millions miles of Earth on Friday. Getty Images/iStockphoto

The asteroid expected to be the closest call this week will be on Thursday, when Asteroid 2024 BY, which NASA describes as approximately the size of a house, will come within 1.57 million miles.

That same day another airplane-size asteroid, 2003 BM4, some 120 feet in diameter, will cruise by at a distance of 2.06 million miles.

For comparison’s sake, the average distance from the Earth to the moon is about 239,000 miles, according to NASA. The Sun is approximately 93 million miles from Earth.

According to NASA, “The majority of near-Earth objects have orbits that don’t bring them very close to Earth, and therefore pose no risk of impact, but a small fraction of them – called potentially hazardous asteroids – require more attention.”


Diagram of the solar system showcasing 5 asteroids, with the largest sized as a sports stadium, passing Earth this week. [Filename: 5-asteroids-including-one-size-75619165]
The largest of the five asteroids is about the size of a sports stadium. NASA

NASA’s definition of “potentially hazardous objects” (PHO) includes asteroids and comets larger than 500 feet that are predicted to come within 4.7 million miles of Earth.

In December, NASA launched OSIRIS-APEX to study Apophis, the so-called “God of Chaos” asteroid, a massive rock measuring some 370 yards across, which is expected to fly by the planet at an unthinkably close 20,000 miles away in 2029.

According to NASA, an asteroid coming that close to Earth “hasn’t happened since the dawn of recorded history.”

The Post reached out to NASA for comment but did not immediately hear back.



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