Asteroid the size of the Giza Pyramids to make ‘close’ pass by Earth at speed of 18,000 miles per hour
- An asteroid is between 318 to 720 feet in length, and will pass by the Earth as it travels at a speed of 18,000 miles per hour
- GO20 is expected to come as close as 2.8 million miles to the planet, placing it in NASA’s near-Earth ‘Apollo’ designation
- In comparison, the moon is 238,855 miles away, while Mars is 236.5 million miles away from Earth
- Its orbit could change due to the gravitational pull of planets, but that would not be a concern for this year
A giant asteroid is set to narrowly pass by the Earth on Sunday, at a speed of 18,000 miles per hour, NASA has said
The asteroid, designated GO20, is between 318 to 720 feet in length, making it about the size of the Taj Mahal and the Great Pyramid of Giza.
It will come as close as 2.8 million miles to the Earth, placing it in NASA’s ‘Apollo’ near-Earth designation.
But it is still far enough away to not be of great concern.
By comparison, the moon is just about 238,855 miles from the Earth.
The asteroid will still be much closer than our planetary neighbors – Venus is 125.9 million miles from Earth, and Maris is 236.5 million miles away.
NASA graphic shows how the orbit of asteroid GO20 will cross into the path of Earth’s orbit
An asteroid the size of the Taj Mahal or the Great Pyramids of Giza is set to pass 2.8 million miles from the Earth, landing it squarely in the solar system
The asteroid could get closer over time due to the gravitational pull of the planets as it passes through the solar system, according to FOX News, though that would not be a concern until GO20 passes by the Earth again.
The asteroid’s orbit means that it crosses over Earth’s orbit at a regular interval.
In 1901, it passed just over 800,000 miles from our planet, according to Live Science, and in 1935, it flew 1.15 million miles from the Earth.
When it is scheduled to pass by again, in 2034, it will likely be 3.1 million miles from the planet.
NASA monitors asteroids to learn more about the early solar system – and to ensure their orbits do not move closer to the Earth.
Asteroid Watch: The next five asteroids to approach the Earth
- G020 – Approximately 400 feet in width, GO20 is set to pass 2.8 million miles from the Earth on July 25
- 2021 OF – Approximately 170 feet in width, 2021 OF is set to pass 2.75 million miles from the Earth on July 26
- 2020 BW12 – Approximately 67 feet in width, 2020 BW12 is set to pass 3.98 million miles from the Earth on July 27
- 2019 YM6 – Approximately 420 feet in width, 2019 YM6 is set to pass 4.27 million miles from the Earth on July 31
- 2020 PN1 – Approximately 92 feet in width, 2020 PN1 is set to pass 2.29 million miles from the Earth on August 3
Source: NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory