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Five asteroids will pass by Earth this week, but researchers say they do not pose an imminent threat given their size.

Key facts

Four of the five asteroids will pass by Earth on Friday: RG, RH, QC5, and GE, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory reports.

First discovered in 2023, RG is an asteroid the size of a bus that will come within 1.02 million miles of Earth; RH is the size of an airplane, was first discovered in 2023 and will also reach within 1.02 million miles of Earth; QC5 was first found in 2023. It is the size of an airplane and will reach a distance of 2.53 million miles from Earth. First observed in 2020, GE and GE are about the size of a bus and will reach a distance of 3.56 million miles from Earth.

RL, a bus-sized asteroid first spotted in 2023, will pass by Earth on Saturday and will come within 469,000 miles of the planet.

Although the asteroids will fly by Earth over the next couple of days, they do not pose any imminent threat because to be classified as hazardous objects by NASA, they must be within 4.6 miles of Earth — which they all are. – And it’s at least about 492 feet in size, and none of them come close.

Although it won’t be visible to the naked eye, NASA is offering a virtual asteroid tracker to see where each asteroid is in the solar system in real time.

Huge number

1,303,867. This is the number of asteroids estimated by NASA in the solar system.

main background

Asteroids are small, rocky remnants orbiting the sun, according to NASA. When the solar system formed about 4.6 billion years ago, a large cloud of dust and gas collapsed and the planets and sun formed. The remaining pieces that did not merge into planets became asteroids. Although they are also called minor planets, they are much smaller than normal planets. Most asteroids are located in the asteroid belt, a region between Jupiter and Mars, but they sometimes leave to enter the orbital path of other planets, such as Earth. Because asteroids formed at the same time as other bodies, such as planets, they give scientists a basic idea of ​​the history of the solar system. There have been several NASA space missions to asteroids, the latest of which was launched in 2016. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft flew to a near-Earth asteroid called Bennu to study it. The spacecraft is on its way back and is expected to touch down in the Utah desert later this month. It carries a container full of dust and rocks that scientists will use to learn how planets formed and life began.

the shadow

Earth gets hit by small asteroids all the time, but no large asteroids are expected to hit Earth within the next 100 years, Space reports. In the 1990s, astronomers warned of the possibility of a large asteroid impact in 2028, although recent calculations have found there is an error and a collision is unlikely to occur. The probability of a large, destructive asteroid colliding with Earth is small, with NASA predicting it would happen once every 100,000 years.

Further reading

This is what would happen if scientists discovered an asteroid heading to Earth (space)

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