Ben “Armageddon” Affleck, wrap up your honeymoon ASAP. A massive asteroid is headed toward Earth, and the world needs saving. Again.
The 50-story asteroid was due to pass our planet by only few million miles on Sunday, marking the asteroid’s closest approach to Earth since 1959, according to LiveScience.com. Astronomers nicknamed the object “2022 KY4” and estimated that it was moving at a speed of 16,900 miles per hour.
While the rock rolled past Earth by about 3.8 million miles, that’s nowhere near the mere 56,000 miles that asteroid 2022 NF left between itself and our planet earlier this month, LiveScience said.
Asteroid 2022 KY4 measures approximately 290 feet at its “widest visible point” and is moving at about 16,900 miles per hour, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Earth previously had close calls with Asteroid 2022 in 1948 and 1959. It won’t closely approach Earth again until May 2048, according to NASA.
Chances of the asteroid actually hitting Earth were slim, as astronomers didn’t expect its orbit to interact with the gravity of a bigger space object, LiveScience reported.
Past asteroids coming close to Earth:
NASA keeps an eye on space rocks such as Asteroid 2022 KY4 — even if astronomers don’t expect them to hit Earth.
NASA lists the following as the next five closest asteroids that will approach Earth:
- 2006 YT13, 2,400 in feet in size, 4.2 million miles on closest Earth approach (tomorrow)
- 2022 NV1, 160 feet in size, 3.08 million miles on closest Earth approach (Sunday)
- 2017 RX2, 54 feet in size, 4.09 million miles on closest Earth approach (Sunday)
- 2022 ML3, 42 feet in size, 1.8 million miles on closest Earth approach (July 26)
- 2022 NU1, 150 feet in size, 2.93 million miles on closest Earth approach (July 29)
Approximately two years ago, an asteroid estimated to be between 820 and 1,870 feet safely zoomed past Earth.