Summer is the season for tourists, and it includes a cosmic traveler – one who is three times the length of a football field – who is expected to visit Earth's neighborhood later this week.
We use the term "neighborhood" solved here; The heavenly tourist (yes it is an asteroid), known as 2008 KV2, is expected to slip off at a distance of approx. 4.2 million miles from Earth on Thursday, June 27. But even though this visitor will be far away, the event is still remarkable; It is not every day that such a large space rock destroys our planet.
To put the 2008 KV2's distance from Earth in perspective, the moon is about 238,900 km away from us, and the asteroid becomes more than 1
Scientists discovered the asteroid in 2008 and quickly set out to calculate how often it was within the Earth's vicinity; The researchers presented estimates of his travels between 1900 and 2199. It turns out that 2008 KV2 is a fairly frequent visitor. Just as the Earth is about the sun, but it doesn't always come so close to us. Nevertheless, after Thursday's turn, KV2 is expected to re-run the earth in 2021 and twice in 2022, according to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.
Why is NASA so much aware of this asteroid that could measure up to 1,082 feet (330 meters) across? The agency monitors all known near earth objects (NEOs) entering the zone between 91 million and 121 million miles (146 million and 195 million miles) from the sun, meaning an object is a NEO if "it can pass within about 30 million miles (50 million miles) of Earth's orbit, NASA says on its website.  KV2 passes with 0.05 Earth astronomical units (according to JPL, it comes within 0.045 AU Because of that, and because of the size of the object, space rock is considered a "potentially dangerous asteroid", according to the Center for Near Earth Object Studies at JPL. (An AU equals the average distance between the earth and the sun .]
However, this space tourist is not lingering during his travels. The asteroid will zoom to the ground at more than 25,400 km / h. It goes so fast that it will not have time to celebrate the UN's Asteroid Day at us June 30.
Oh well, maybe 2008 KV 2 keep going next time – as we are cool, as long as it does not hit the ground.
Originally published on Live Science .