- On October 6, Asteroid 1998 SD9, designated a Near Earth Object (NEO) by NASA, will fly by Earth at a speed approaching 25,000 miles per hour.
- Also, on that same day, Asteroid 2021 RP12, an Apollo class asteroid, will zoom by the planet at a speed of around 21,600 miles per hour.
- More space news here.
At around 3:53 p.m. ET on Wednesday, October 6, 2021, a Near Earth Object (NEO), Asteroid 1998 SD9, will zoom past Earth at a speed of 11 kilometers per second, or 24,606 miles per hour.
According to NASA, Asteroid 1998 SD9, an Aten class asteroid, is anywhere between 144 and 325 feet wide (up to twice the size of the Statue of Liberty) and will come within 0.02718 astronomical units (2,526,538.842 miles) of the Earth.
While 1998 SD9 does not officially qualify as a “potentially hazardous” asteroid by NASA, it will come within 7.5 million kilometers (about 4.6 million miles) or Earth’s orbit – one of the prerequisites for such a classification.
Only the fact that it isn’t larger than 150 meters (almost 500 feet) wide precludes it from being considered as such.
Asteroid 1998 SD9 was first detected by NASA on September 18, 1998 and orbits the sun once every 215 days.
As seen in the NASA diagram below, this will take the orbital path of 1998 SD9 very close to that of the Earth on October 6th.
NASA assures everyone that we are in no danger of 1998 SD9 making contact with the planet, but, then again, what else are they going to say? We’re all doomed?
Asteroid 1998 SD9 also isn’t the only Near Earth Object that will be buzzing past Earth on October 6. Asteroid 2021 RP12 will also go zipping by on Wednesday at 1:35 a.m.
An Apollo class asteroid slightly smaller than 1998 SD9 (104 to 236 feet wide), Asteroid 2021 RP12 will be passing by Earth at an even closer distance: just 1,199,535.96 miles. By comparison, the moon is approximately 238,606 miles from Earth.
2021 RP12 was only just detected by NASA on September 11, 2021. It too, because of its size, is not officially designated as a “potentially hazardous” asteroid, but it will be flying by at a speed of around 21,598 miles per hour.
Should NASA be wrong, and either one of these fast-moving space rocks do happen to strike Earth, it won’t be a very pleasant experience for any of us.