NASA warns that an asteroid passing close to Earth today is classified as a ‘potentially hazardous object.’

Asteroid the Size of Brooklyn Bridge to Pass Near Earth

A large asteroid, approximately the size of the main span of the Brooklyn Bridge, is set to make a close encounter with Earth on Thursday, according to NASA. This celestial object, known as 2020 DB5, is considered a “potentially hazardous object” due to its size.

The asteroid, measuring 1,600 feet long, is projected to come within 2.6 million miles of our planet on Thursday afternoon. NASA classifies any object larger than about 460 feet that passes within 4.6 million miles of Earth as “potentially hazardous,” regardless of the risk of collision.

Monitoring and Previous Visits

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is closely monitoring the trajectory of 2020 DB5. This asteroid has made previous close approaches to Earth, with its most recent visit occurring in 1995. However, it is not expected to return until 2048 after this week’s encounter. Since 1905, it has passed near Earth a total of six times.

2020 DB5 is the largest of five asteroids that will pass by Earth this week. Three of them have already passed on Tuesday and Wednesday, with one of the asteroids, comparable in size to a house, coming within 197,000 miles of our planet. The final asteroid will pass from a distance of 3.2 million miles on Saturday.

NASA’s Efforts to Protect Earth

NASA has been actively working to safeguard humanity from asteroids and other space objects that pose a threat to our planet. In 2016, the space agency established the Planetary Defense Coordination Office, which identifies and tracks near-Earth objects that could potentially collide with Earth, aiding in the prevention of catastrophic impacts.

One notable example of NASA’s efforts occurred in September, when a spacecraft was deliberately crashed into an asteroid to alter its trajectory. This mission, known as the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, showcased NASA’s commitment to mitigating potential hazards from space.

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