The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has informed that a 220-meter asteroid, as big as a stadium, known as Asteroid 2008 Go20 or simply 2008Go20, is headed towards Earth with a speed of around 18,000 miles per hour.
The asteroid is set to fly by our planet on the late night of July 24. According to NASA’s calculations, Asteroid 2008 Go20 will be 0.04 au (astronomical unit) away from Earth, which is a distance of 3,718,232 miles. However, the chances of 2008Go20 hitting Earth remain exceedingly low.
As reported by Hindustan Times, an interactive map provided by NASA shows that Asteroid 2008 Go20 would not come any closer than 2,605,509 miles i.e. around eight times more than the Moon-Earth distance.
The Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) has defined a NEO as an asteroid or comet that approaches our planet less than 1.3 times the distance from Earth-Sun.
Moreover, it describes asteroids as “rocky fragments left over from the formation of the solar system about 4.6 billion years ago.” In the solar system, most of the asteroids orbit in a belt between the planets of Mars and Jupiter.
Reuters reported that Chinese researchers have proposed to send large rockets for the practice of turning down a sizeable asteroid, a method that can prove to be crucial if a killer rock is on a collision course with our planet.