NASA database confirms 'potentially hazardous' asteroid will approach Earth today

A space-watching group has identified an asteroid that's between 1,214 and 2,723 feet in diameter, and it will be approaching Earth today.

1 minute & 37 seconds read time

NASA's Center for Near Earth Objects (CNEOS) has confirmed a space rock that's between 1,214 and 2,727 feet in diameter will approach Earth today.

Asteroid Launch simulation

Asteroid Launch simulation

The asteroid, which was originally identified in 1994 by the Spacewatch group working at Kitt Peak Observatory in Arizona, is now on its way to making its closest approach to Earth, coming within 1.8 million miles of our planet, or approximately eight times the distance between Earth and the moon. According to NASA projections, the asteroid named 1994 XD will be at its closest point to Earth on June 12, 9 pm EDT.

Despite this asteroid's size, the goliath space rock is moving at extreme speeds, with recent measurements indicating a speed of 48,032 mph. Combining the asteroid's speed with an average diameter measurement of 1,500 feet, we can predict how much damage such an object would create if it were to collide with the surface of Earth. Using the Asteroid Launcher simulation website, plugging in the 1,500 diameter, speed of 48,000 mph, an impact angle of 45 degrees, and Central Park, New York, it's estimated that 222,286 people would be vaporized and carve a 1,390 ft deep crater.

NASA's CNEOS database image showcasing Earth's orbit and 1994 XD's orbit

NASA's CNEOS database image showcasing Earth's orbit and 1994 XD's orbit

The impact itself would create 14 gigatons of TNT, and more energy than the world consumes in a year would be released.

As stated earlier, 1994 XD will pass safely by Earth at a distance of 1.8 million miles, but due to its proximity and size, NASA's guidelines identify 1994 as a Potentially Hazardous Object (PHO). However, 99% of known potentially hazardous objects pose zero threat to Earth over the next 100 years.

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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