NASA and the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) are revealing after final analysis and monitoring, that an asteroid will reach the Earth’s orbit.
According to the agency’s calculation, the asteroid that is called 2017 XQ60 will approach our planet around Christmas. What is more impressive about this asteroid is its speed. 2017 XQ60 is flying with a speed of 56.000 kilometers per hour and has a size of 256 feet.
For a proper image of the dimensions of the asteroid, you can imagine it longer than a Boeing 747 airplane.
The asteroid enters in the Apollo asteroids category. The Apollo asteroids are the objects which are having their path to follow in the full orbit of the Solar System. Following this pattern, it comes a time when the asteroid will intersect with Earth’s orbit, and after it passes, the object will complete a full cycle around the Sun.
256-Foot Asteroid Will Whiz By Earth On Christmas, NASA Warned
However, asteroid 2017 XQ60 is not a novelty for scientists, because the first time they saw it was on 3 December 2017.
What is more interesting about the object is that starting with 2017, the asteroid began to visit the Earth’s orbit every year. The same thing happened last year when on 21 December, the asteroid visited our planets orbit by a distance of 0.03431 astronomical units. This means that 2017 XQ60 was at a distance from Earth by 3.2 million miles.
Besides this, the visit that will happen this year on approximately 21 December at 9:10 MP EST, will be at a distance of 0.02827 astronomical units, which means 2.6 million miles from Earth. The scientist calculated the returning of the asteroids for next year. It will happen on 21 December as well, and the distance will be this time by three million miles away, which means 0.03204 astronomical units.
Finally, further calculations are reporting that 2017 XQ60 will be at a distance of 46 million miles away in 2037. Important note – out planet is not in danger because of this close visit of the asteroid, not now, not in the future.