Don’t be alarmed, but a 900 to 2,100-foot diameter chunk of space rock, classified as an Apollo asteroid, is going to make what NASA calls a “close approach” around midnight on November 21st. An Apollo asteroid is the most dangerous class of asteroid used by NASA. Okay, you can be a little bit alarmed.
According to a recent Daily Express report, “Asteroids larger than approximately 35 meters [115 feet] across can pose a threat to a town or city.”
This particular NEO (Near Earth Object), named 481394 (2006 SF6), is traveling at a speed of approximately 17,780 mph and will make that “close approach” to Earth at a distance of around 2.6 million miles.
While that may not sound like it’s going to be very close to Earth, in terms of asteroids that’s close enough to warrant NASA’s attention. Especially considering the Yarkovsky effect.
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The Yarkovsky effect, in this particular case, is when the asteroid’s trajectory is changed as it is warmed by radiation from the Sun.
According to the website Asteroids Near Earth, which tracks, uh, asteroids near Earth, asteroid 481394 (2006 SF6) is considered to be “hazardous.”
To put this into perspective, here’s a look at how 481394 (2006 SF6) is tracking now…
And where it is projected to be in one month…
That is a little too close for comfort.
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