A Potentially Hazardous Asteroid Will Zoom Past Earth Today
NASA has been observing an asteroid called 2021 GM4 for a while now. The asteroid is classified as potentially hazardous but has no real chance of impacting the earth. It’s believed to be between 360 and 820 feet across and will zoom past the Earth at a rate of 13,421 miles per hour.
Scientists predict it will pass by the Earth at a distance of 2.8 million miles. That represents a distance of about 12 times as far away as the moon is from the Earth. The asteroid will make its closest approach to the planet around 7:53 PM local time.
While 2.8 million miles is a massive distance, it’s relatively close on a cosmic scale leading to the asteroid being dubbed as potentially hazardous. Asteroids called potentially hazardous could at some point in the future have the potential to collide with the earth.
Occasionally, asteroids orbital paths are influenced by the gravitational tug of planets, which cause their paths to alter, NASA said. NASA knows of no asteroid or comet currently on a collision course with Earth, so the probability of a major collision is quite small.