01 Septiembre 2017 12:35
It will skim the Earth’s orbital trajectory at a speed of 13.53 kilometres a second
It's called Florence, measures between four and nine kilometres across and is set to skim the Earth’s orbit at a speed of 13.53 kilometres a second.
Tonnes of space rubbish and various asteroids whiz by the Earth on a daily basis. Florence, however, is the biggest known asteroid to pass close to our planet since NASA began registering these kinds of near-Earth space rocks in the nineties.
‘While many known asteroids have passed by closer to Earth than Florence will on September 1, all of those were estimated to be smaller’, explained Paul Chodas, manager of NASA’s Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies.
The asteroid is coming from the other side of Neptune and will pass ‘very close’ to the Earth: at a distance of seven million kilometres.
Florence is ‘potentially dangerous’ because its dimensions are ‘greater than 140 metres and its minimum distance from the Earth is less than 19.5 times the distance between the Earth and the moon’, explained Guadalupe Cordero, from the Geophysics Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). But don’t fear Earthlings, Florence won’t collide with our planet.
According to scientists, its close proximity to the Earth will allow us to study its size and other aspects such as topography, rotation and texture, as well as more accurately determine its orbital trajectory.