• Thu. Oct 29th, 2020



301 And 262-Foot NEOs Will Closely Approach Earth On Wednesday


  • Two giant asteroids will pass Earth on Oct. 14
  • Both 2020TD and 2020TU2 have not been included in the ESA’s Risk List
  • 2020TO2 will make its next close approach two years from now

Two giant near-Earth asteroids will make their closest approach this Wednesday with Earth, with each about four times the size of The Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt.

Asteroids 2020TD and 2020TU2 are on currently on their way to zip by the Earth on Oct. 14, Wednesday. The first of the two to pass by is 2020TD  at 10:14 a.m. EDT. Considered an Apollo asteroid, this near-Earth asteroid has an earth-crossing orbit.  At a certain point, its orbit makes contact with that of the Earth’s, making the chances of a possible impact between the two significantly higher. According to NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, 2020TD will have a diameter of about 262 feet (80 m), about twice the width of an American football field. 

At about 2:07 p.m. EDT, almost four hours after 2020TD makes its way past Earth, asteroid 2020TU2 is then expected to follow. The former, without a doubt, lies on the larger end of the spectrum when it comes to the sizes of the asteroids which pass by the planet. But 2020TU2 is even more massive than the 262-foot NEA first mentioned. With a diameter reaching 301 feet (80 m), this giant is as tall as The Statue of Liberty in New York — and yes, including its pedestal. The 301-foot asteroid is also expected to be taller than The Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy and is considered an Apollo asteroid like 2020TD. Two Very Different Asteroids Image of two different asteroids captured by NASA. Photo: NASA/JPL/JHUAPL

Luckily, both 2020TD and 2020TU2 have not been included in the European Space Agency’s Risk List, as the two giants will zip by the planet at 7 million and 6 million kilometers away from the Earth’s surface, respectively.

To pass by in between the hours of 2020TD and 2020TU2’s close approach is 2020TO2, an NEA almost twice as long as a bowling lane. The 95-foot Apollo asteroid will zip by the planet at 11:08 a.m. EDT and could get as close as 1,214,710.32 kilometers from the planet’s surface. Although considered the smallest among the three asteroids to pass by on Wednesday, this NEA has been included in the ESA’s Risk List and is said to make its next close approach with Earth on Oct. 16, 2022 almost exactly two years from today.

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