Since the first near-Earth asteroid was discovered in 1898, the list of near-Earth objects (NEOs) has expanded a lot. 433 Eros was the name given to the rock approaching from the Amor group. A hundred years later, 433 Eros became the first asteroid ever to be studied from orbit. Now, on April 15, two asteroids will whiz by Earth.
NASA warns that two asteroids are approaching Earth in the next couple of days. Their names aren’t as intriguing as 433 Eros — 2020 FX3 and 2020 GH2. Maybe astronomers got tired of naming them since they observed that there are over 20,000 known near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). We would forget their names anyhow.
And as long as they’re coming and going without making a fuss, it’s better this way.
NASA Warned That Two Asteroids Will Fly By Earth on April 15
There are still starlets among NEAs. Usually, because they are potentially hazardous object (PHO). Who could ignore 101955 Bennu, for instance? But again, let’s get back to those two asteroids that will pass next to our planet — 2020 FX3 and 2020 GH2.
2020 FX3 will approach Earth on April 15, at 1:02 a.m. EDT, at 3.4 million miles away, and an average speed of 23,000 miles per hour. It has a diameter of 295 feet, and it is an Apollo asteroid. If it were to impact Earth, it could create a ground impact that could presumably blast an entire city.
On the other hand, 2020 GH2 will approach a few hours later, at 12:45 p.m. EDT at 223,000 miles away. GH2 is much smaller, only 98 feet wide. The velocity at which it travels through the Solar System is also smaller, over 19,000 miles per hour. It is an Apollo asteroid, too. If it were to hit Earth, it wouldn’t make it past the atmosphere. But it would do it majestically, with an explosion comparable to multiple atomic bombs exploding at once.
In conclusion, two asteroids will pass next to Earth in a couple of days, at a safe distance, so they will not cause any damage to our planet.