Asteroid the size of stadium to fly past Earth on July 24, says Nasa
Asteroids have always generated curiosity among space enthusiasts and anxiety among those who think about Earth's fate in case a collision happens. American space agency Nasa has said that an asteroid named '2008 GO20' is headed towards the Earth at 18,000 miles an hour, but there is nothing to worry.
The asteroid will go pass Earth on July 24, according to Nasa. The space agency has categorised the flying object as a Apollo class asteroid; for common people, it is as big as a stadium, or thrice the size of the Taj Mahal.
Though the asteroid will be very close to Earth, it will still be 0.04 au (astronomical unit) away from Earth, according to Nasa's calculations. That's a distance of 3,718,232 miles. To put it in perspective, the moon is approximately 238,606 miles from Earth.
Asteroid 2008 GO20 won't come any closer than 2,605,509 miles miles, according to interactive map give by Nasa.
However, it has still been classified as Near Earth Object by Nasa due to its close approach with Earth.
What are asteroids?
According to the Nasa, asteroids are "rocky remnants left over from the early formation of our solar system about 4.6 billion years ago". There are currently 1,097,106 known asteroids. These are different from meteors, which are small bodies of matter that appear as a streak of light when entering the Earth's atmosphere.
Chinese researchers have proposed sending large rockets to practice turning away a sizable asteroid - a technique that may eventually be crucial if a killer rock is on a collision course with Earth - news agency Reuters reported.
Sometime between late 2021 to early 2022, the United States will launch a robotic spacecraft to intercept two asteroids relatively close to Earth.