A trio of asteroids traveling at a top speed of 26,037 miles per hour (or 41,904 kilometers per hour) has passed by Earth on November 20th. The three asteroids followed a close approach trajectory that should have brought them near Earth. The first one has already passed by our planet. The other two are on their way. NASA decided to classify all the three asteroids as near-earth objects or NEOs.
NEOs have the potential to hit our planet, and they could cause severe damage as they are large enough to create troubles. However, the chances that an actual impact would take place are quite low for the moment. NASA and other space agencies prefer to keep a close eye on them since they could hinder the launch of some missions.
The first asteroid that passed by our planet has been named 2019 UK6. It was spotted on October 24th, 2019, and possesses a relatively small size ranging between 157.5 feet to 360.8 feet (or 48 to 110 meters), in comparison with other NEOs.
Three Asteroids Just Passed Next To Earth
If we take into account the higher end of the estimation that the asteroid is as giant as the iconic Big Ben clock tower located in London. Asteroid 2019 WF was the second one that passed by us. It has been classified as an Apollo-type asteroid and has been detected on November 17th. According to calculations made by NASA, it is quite small, measuring between 36 feet and 78.7 feet (11 or 24 meters) across, so no threat, once again.
Last but not least is Asteroid 2019 WE, the third asteroid in the trio. Its size ranges between 39.4 feet and 88.5 feet (12 to 27 meters) in diameter. This space rock was also observed on November 17th.
At the time of the flyby, there was no danger of a potential collision. Still, several space agencies are hard at work on the development of practical countermeasure tools that could save our planet in the case of a possible impact. Some tests will take place in the following years, but initial analysis infers that they could be quite effective, hopefully.