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These asteroids with very destructive potential pass close to Earth

Illustrative image © NASA /JPL/Caltech

You know: although the 2020s bring their share of novelties worthy of the imagination of the best directors, what happens in Armageddon (1998) still remains, unfortunately for us, science fiction. We are only just beginning to think of effective ways to prevent near-Earth asteroids from destroying Earth.

In this matter, there is no question of imitating Bruce Willis. Kinetic energy would in any case be transferred by the impact of debris heating the atmosphere to levels incompatible with life… among other consequences – in any case if we are talking about an object as enormous as in the film.

Protect the Earth from asteroids? We still need to detect them

A single approach has recently been successfully tested: it is the DART mission resulting from a collaboration between NASA and ESA. With this simple idea; if we can observe the most dangerous asteroids from far enough away, we might be able to impact them.

This shock, even if it is not of phenomenal power, can, with the immense distances in question, succeed in sufficiently diverting its trajectory so that he avoids our planet. The European Space Agency like NASA has therefore equipped itself with the necessary capabilities to follow the largest objects from very, very far away.

And that’ It is therefore in this context that the’ESA tells us that two particularly imposing objects(larger than 99% of asteroids usually passing near Earth), will “graze” this week, as if to better celebrate Asteroid Day 2024. There is still some information that will quickly give you an idea of ​​our more or less relative detection capabilities depending on the case.

One of the asteroids passes 75% of the Earth-Moon distance in a few days

L’un of them, 2024 MK, is between 120 and 260 meters. Enough to cause major damage in the event of an impact. It has only been followed by the ESA for barely two weeks. Not all of them are so easy to see. Some reflect light or radio waves more than others.

Determining their near-Earth potential is also quite difficult. But as technology advances, so does our ability to better predict these kinds of impacts and protect the Earth.

The other asteroid (415029) 2011 UL21 has been observed for much longer. It is also comparatively huge with its 2,310 km wide. No risk of one of them hitting us, however. The first, should increase the distance which separates us from the Moon to 75%, i.e. 290,000 km – allowing observations with a good telescope this week.

The other, more massive, poses absolutely no risk since it passes 17 times the Earth-Moon distance. Which should unfortunately make its observation difficult if not impossible with general public equipment during its point of closest passage – which will take place on June 27. But of course, it's still allowed to try.

  • L&# 8217;ESA tells us that two large objects are passing relatively close to Earth this week.
  • One of them does not&# 8217;has only been known for two weeks.
  • It will be possible to observe the latter

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116