Gift for Christmas. A giant asteroid rushes to Earth at great speed: what is known
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According to the NASA classification, given the size of the asteroid, it is considered potentially dangerous for our planet.
In a week, a large space rock, which received the unofficial nickname “Christmas asteroid”, will approach the Earth at a close distance by space standards, writes the Daily Mail.
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December 25, according to the Gregorian calendar, many people around the world celebrate Christmas. Considering that a huge “pre-Christmas” asteroid will approach the Earth on December 15, it got its unusual unofficial name.
According to scientists from the European Space Agency (ESA), an asteroid called 2015 RN35 is now heading towards Earth. The size of this asteroid is 140 meters and according to NASA classification, it is considered potentially dangerous for our planet.
Data on its trajectory show that it flies at a tremendous speed of 21,000 km/h and this Thursday will approach the Earth at a distance of 680,000 km. By cosmic standards, this is very close, although it is almost twice the distance from our planet to the moon. If an asteroid of this size is closer than 7.5 million km from Earth, then it is already considered potentially hazardous.
At the same time, scientists from the ESA argue that there is nothing to be afraid of and this space rock should fly past the Earth. The asteroid 2015 RN35 is of particular interest to astronomers, as very little is known about it, although it was discovered back in 2015. Therefore, the ESA turned to amateur astronomers with a request to observe this asteroid and even photograph it. Moreover, it will be possible to observe it until December 19 as it moves away from the Earth.
Scientists are still not sure exactly what this space rock consists of, whether it is really about 140 meters or more, as well as whether it rotates around its axis. Its orbit, in which the asteroid revolves around the Sun, is also poorly understood, although, as mentioned above, everything indicates that it does not pose a threat to the Earth. At least for now.
< p>While scientists have already discovered almost all of the huge asteroids, most of the 2015 RN35 size asteroids are still flying in space and remain unknown to science. According to scientists, there may be several hundred thousand such near-Earth asteroids, and if they fall to Earth, this will lead to significant destruction.
According to NASA, on Wednesday, December 14, two more asteroids will approach Earth, much smaller sizes, two and they will be located farther from our planet. The 26-meter asteroid 2022 XY will approach the Earth at a distance of 4.3 million km, and the 22-meter asteroid 2021 XS4 at a distance of 5.5 million km. These space rocks also do not pose a threat to us.
Focus already wrote about a simulator with which you can simulate the fall of an asteroid of different sizes and at different speeds on any city on our planet.< /p>
As for other space rocks, as Focus already wrote, according to a new study, a meteorite from Canada refutes the theory of the origin of the solar system.