An asteroid as wide as a ‘stadium’ named 2020 XU6 will fly past Earth on Monday, 22 February 2021 as confirmed by the US-based space agency, NASA. According to data published by the space agency, the space rock would be approximately 700 feet long and it is expected to miss the Earth by 4,087,734 kilometres. NASA has described the asteroid as a ‘Near Earth Object’ (NEO) and dubbed it as “potentially hazardous”. 2020 XU6 is travelling at a speed of 8.4 kilometers per second or 30,240 kilometers an hour.
Asteroid 2020 XU6 to fly past Earth
NASA and other space agencies are expected to keep a close eye on any rogue rocks that may be coming towards earth or at least make a close call. In March 2020, NASA had reported that an SUV-size space shape rock had flown past our planet. This asteroid was initially described by a NASA-funded asteroid survey. It was termed as one of the Near-Earth Asteroids that has managed to gain a lot of attention as it had set the record for coming closer to Earth than any other known Near-Earth Asteroid.
What are Asteroids?
Asteroids are small, rocky objects that orbit the sun just like planets but they are much smaller in size. There are lots of asteroids in our solar system. Most of them live in the main asteroid belt. NASA’s site mentioned that the asteroid belt is the region between the orbit of Mars and Jupiter. Further, NASA is also studying methods of deflecting asteroids that do end up on a collision course with Earth.
According to NASA, no known asteroid poses a significant risk to Earth for the next 100 years. The US space agency informed that the current biggest known threat is an asteroid called 410777 2009 FD, which has a 1 in 714 (less than 0.2%) chance of hitting Earth in 2185. Meanwhile, in a similar occurrence, a huge asteroid, which is bigger than the size of Eiffel Tower passed Earth on February 1, as stated by NASA’s Asteroid Watch called Central for Near-Earth Object Studies. Termed as 2016 CL136 measures 2016 CL136, as per the report.