NASA Tracking 17,000 MPH Asteroid That Will Have An ‘Extremely Close’ Encounter With Earth This Week

Asteroid 2020 SW To Have Extremely Close Encounter With Earth


Just a small heads up for you here. NASA is currently tracking a space rock dubbed Asteroid 2020 SW that according to The Virtual Telescope Project will “have an extremely close” encounter with Earth this week.

Asteroid 2020 SW will be flying by our planet at around 17,200 mph (27,720 km/h) – or 4.78 miles per second – and will pass by just 0.07 times the distance between the Earth and the moon.

As far as objects in space go, that is very, very close.

Which is why Asteroid 2020 SW, which is predicted to be a close as 17,456 miles from Earth, has been deemed a “Potentially Hazardous” Near Earth Object.

Also a bit concerning is the fact that Asteroid 2020 SW was only just discovered on Friday, Sept. 18 by astronomers at the Mount Lemmon Observatory in Arizona.

Considering the massive amount of space junk we have just left floating around our planet, and that Asteroid 2020 SW will fly by at a distance closer than television satellites typically orbit, one wonders if it might crash into something out there.

On the positive side, The Sky Live reports, “Based on the latest high precision orbit computations performed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), it is confirmed that Asteroid 2020 SW is not going to impact Earth in the near future.”

Of course, bearing in mind the fact that experts have said if an asteroid were to head straight for Earth there is basically nothing we can do to stop it, what else would they say?

So, cross your fingers and hope the Yarkovsky effect – where when the asteroid’s trajectory is changed as it is warmed by radiation from the Sun – doesn’t occur with Asteroid 2020 SW because regardless of whether it hits our planet or not its orbit will be changed by the close encounter.

You can watch exactly how close Asteroid 2020 SW comes to Earth in the video below beginning at 6:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Sept. 23.

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Before settling down at BroBible, Douglas Charles, a graduate of the University of Iowa (Go Hawks), owned and operated a wide assortment of websites. He is also one of the few White Sox fans out there and thinks Michael Jordan is, hands down, the GOAT.