Earth is orbited every day by space objects that might have the potential to become a danger for our planet. But most times than not, they just pass by us in their uninterrupted voyage in space. These cosmic bodies that are coming a little too close to Earth are called near-Earth objects, or NEO. In the family of NEOs are included not only asteroids but also meteorites and comets. According to statistics from January the current year, there are more than 19,000 NEOs discovered. But that does not mean that all of them are hazardous.
Such an example is asteroid 2006 QQ23 that is expected to pass Earth on August 10th. Should we worry? Asteroid 2006 QQ23 was calculated to have around 1,870 feet (570 meters). As a comparison, the asteroid is much bigger than the Empire State building.
But like many other giant asteroids, astronomers have informed us that there is no reason to worry as this specific asteroid has been observed for a long time and calculations have been made in regards with its course through space.
Another Giant Asteroid To Pass Next To Earth This Month
In terms of asteroids’ size, 2006 QQ23 is not even that big. There are more than five asteroids with the same specifications that pass our planet each year without presenting a problem. It is worth mentioning that the most massive asteroid to orbit Earth is 21 miles long (around 34 km). What’s more, there are about 900 asteroids bigger than QQ23 in our Solar System.
The great news is that not many asteroids succeed in entering Earth’s atmosphere. But if they do, the chance of an impact with the surface of Earth is quite rare. Therefore, the possibility of damage is also limited. Most of the asteroids burn in the atmosphere and do not get the chance to reach the earth.
NASA is working on a project to create a method to deflect or destroy asteroids that are a threat to Earth, but such a project is something quite challenging. We hope that until an asteroid decides to come too close to our home, NASA would have found a way to save Earth.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.