Asteroids 2019 MB4 and NN3 to pass extremely close to Earth
Two large asteroids will make extremely close passes of Earth in next couple of days. Near Earth Objects (NEOs) - pass the Earth on a regular basis but these two will make an exceptionally close flyby. Asteroid estimated to be 22m long, dubbed as 2019 MB4 will pass at just 315 000km from Earth, a closer distance than the moon. Asteroid 2019 MB4 is travelling at 7.1km/s (or 25 560km/h) while 2019 NN3 is travelling at 8.84km/s (31 824km/h). Notably, the asteroids that approach towards the Earth at a very close distance pose a threat to us due to the gravitational forces that affect them.
According to NASA, another Asteroid 2019 NN3 will pass Earth on Wednesday at a distance of just 320 000km. That asteroid is estimated to be between 35m to 77m in length.
Asteroid 2019 MB4 was only discovered on June 29 while 2019 NN3 was first observed on May 31.
“As for its upcoming approach, 2019 MB4 will certainly get affected by gravitational forces again especially since it will be passing in between the orbits of Earth and the Moon. This means that for its next fly by, there’s a chance that 2019 MB4 will approach the planet at a much closer distance. It could even cause a new impact event by hitting Earth if it gets pulled into a collision course with the planet,” according to International Business Times.
2019 MB4 belongs to the Amor group of asteroids. This group is named after the archetype object 1221 Amor. This is the 28th known asteroid to flyby Earth within 1 LD since the start of the year.
On December 18 last year, a large meteoroid was exploded over the Bering Sea, however, it went unnoticed due to the remote location. According to the NASA, the explosion of meteoroid unleashed around 173 kilotons of energy, more than 10 times that of the atomic bomb blast over Hiroshima in World War II. Also, it was the most powerful explosion in the atmosphere since the fireball that burst over the Russian town of Chelyabinsk in 2013. That was 440 kilotons and left 1,500 people injured, mostly from glass flying out of smashed windows.