- Asteroid 441987 (2010 NY65) will fly by Earth on June 24th at a speed of almost 30,000 miles per hour.
- The space rock is considered to be a “Potentially Hazardous Asteroid” by NASA.
- More space news here.
It’s been a hot minute since we really had to concern ourselves with an approaching asteroid. Almost three months, in fact, but here we are again.
Good thing too, since as we have chronicled here on more than one occasion, we, as a planet, are very ill-prepared for an asteroid should one decide to make a beeline for Earth.
As Professor Alan Fitzsimmons of Queen’s University Belfast’s Astrophysics Research Centre said in 2019, “We will get a serious asteroid impact sometime. It may not be in our lifetime, but mother nature controls when that will happen. We will need to do something about it. We’ll need to move that asteroid so it misses us and and doesn’t hit us.”
Luckily, at least according to NASA, the “potentially hazardous asteroid” that is heading our way before the end of June is not supposed to make any contact with the planet. (But really, what else are they going to say?)
This particular asteroid, 441987 (2010 NY65), is a big one too, measuring more than two football fields across (204 yards) and is traveling at an eye-watering speed of 29,825 miles per hour.
According to NASA, Asteroid 441987 will be closest to Earth on June 24th at around 11:09 p.m. ET.
While Asteroid 441987 is supposed to pass by Earth at a distance 15 times the distance from our planet to the moon, NASA still considers it to be classifed as a Near Earth Object (NEO).
Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) are comets and asteroids that have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that allow them to enter the Earth’s neighborhood. Composed mostly of water ice with embedded dust particles, comets originally formed in the cold outer planetary system while most of the rocky asteroids formed in the warmer inner solar system between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
Asteroid 441987 is also, despite the distance with which it will pass by Earth, considered to be a “Potentially Hazardous Asteroid” by NASA, which are “currently defined based on parameters that measure the asteroid’s potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth.”
That being said, NASA assures us that we are safe, at least from this asteroid.