NASA Warns about Five Asteroids Approaching Earth

There will be at least five objects passing within 5 million kilometers of earth, a distance that may seem enormous, but in space, it is actually very small.

Gabriela Castillo

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) warns about the next five asteroid approaches to Earth, the largest of which is the size of a football field, according to the US space agency. These approaches are under JPL’s watch but pose no risk to the planet.

When it comes to outer space, objects orbiting around Earth are much more abundant than we could imagine. It’s not just about the asteroids that sail around the Sun between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, but also about the comets that come from beyond the Oort Cloud and bring information from the edge of the Solar System.

However, regardless of their origin, space agencies such as NASA or ESA are responsible for maintaining strict control over the objects near Earth, which are called NEOs. Although the possibility of a collision with our planet is very low, there is a probability that it could happen, which is why planetary defense technologies are developed to deflect any possible impact object.

To know when to take action, thorough control of objects approaching 200 billion kilometers of our planet is necessary. Once they pass this threshold, they are called Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), although it should be clarified that this does not necessarily mean they will impact Earth’s atmosphere.

Asteroid - nasa warns about five asteroids approaching earth

Five Asteroids Will Pass Close to Earth

At the end of February and the first days of March, NEO activity is very high. According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, we will have at least five objects that will pass within 5 million kilometers, a distance that may seem enormous, but in space, it is actually very small.

The asteroid 2006 BE55, which according to JPL is the size of a building, is crossing near Earth. On February 28th, it reached its closest approach at just 3.5 million kilometers.

Later on March 3rd, an extraordinary event will occur; at least four asteroids will be hovering near Earth’s orbit on the same day. The first will be the asteroid 2023 DX, the closest of all with a position just 2 million kilometers away from us, which is about five times the distance between Earth and the Moon. However, it is the smallest object at only 23 meters.

Next is the object named by NASA as 2007 ED125, an Apollo-type asteroid with a size comparable to a football field (213 meters), although it will not reach such a short distance, crossing at 4.4 million kilometers. On the same day, the asteroid 2017 BM123 will also approach at 4.6 million kilometers and with the size of a commercial airplane (58 meters). Finally, the parade of asteroids will culminate with 2021 QW, whose closest distance will be 5.3 million kilometers from Earth and with a size of 76 meters.

NASA offers a freely available interactive map to track these types of objects, which you can visit to search for the orbits of asteroids and compare their orbits with those of Earth in real time.

Story originally written in Spanish by Alejandra Martínez in Ecoosfera.