Asteroid the size of Empire State Building nears earth this weekend – The Jerusalem Post

The asteroid is estimated to be 1,100 ft. in diameter, while the Empire State Building stands at approximately 1,400 ft. tall.


JUNE 7, 2020 21:13

Artist’s Impression of a collision of two icy asteroid-sized bodies orbiting the bright star Fomalhaut

(photo credit: REUTERS)

An asteroid almost as tall as the Empire State Building in New York is expected to fly near Earth this weekend.

Asteroid 2002 NN4 is set to pass by the Earth on June 6, according to the space agency’s asteroid watch widget, which provides easy access to information on the next five asteroids expected to pass by our planet. 

Information provided on the widget shows the asteroid, named Asteroid 2002 NN4, to be approximately 1,100 ft. in diameter (about 335 meters), while the Empire State Building stands at approximately 1,400 ft. (426 meters).

Despite information provided by the widget putting the asteroid at 300 ft. shorter than the iconic building, more in depth information listed about the asteroid on NASA’s Center for Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) website, which monitors close approaches to Earth, approximates the asteroid to be anywhere from 820-1,870 ft. (250-570 m.) in diameter. 

The asteroid will be at its nearest to Earth at a distance of 3,160,000 miles.  

The widget shows the next five asteroids that are expected to come within 4.6 million miles of Earth, and provides size comparison pictures of on-earth objects. While Asteroid 2002 NN4 has been compared to the average size of a sports stadium, another asteroid also expected to pass near earth on the same day is shown to be the size of an airplane, nearing Earth at a distance of only 890,000 miles. 

More than 30 Near Earth Objects are discovered each week, roughly 1,500 per year, according to NASA’s Planetary Defense website. Roughly half of the known NEOs are objects larger than about 460 ft. (140 m.) in size. The estimated population of NEOs of this size is about 25,000. 

In 2019, when just over 19,000 had been discovered, scientists from NASA and other space agencies from around the world gathered for an international Planetary Defense Conference, one of many steps in the agency’s preparedness plans in case an asteroid were to hit Earth. 


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