Asteroid alert: A space rock was spotted two weeks ago and now its flying towards Earth – Express.co.uk

The asteroid, dubbed by NASA 2019 SC, was first observed in the solar system on September 6 this year. NASAs asteroid trackers have now said the space rock is flying towards us on a Close Approach trajectory. The asteroid is expected to approach Earth later tonight around 7.37pm BST (6.37pm UTC). At its closest, the asteroid will scrape by almost as close as the Moon is.

Asteroid 2019 SC is an Apollo-type rock on a trajectory similar to Asteroid 1862 Apollo.

NASA has also ranked Asteroid SC as an NEO or Near-Earth Object.

NEOs are all comets and asteroids that come close to Earth on their orbits of the inner solar system.

The European Space Agency (ESA) estimates there are currently 20,756 known NEOs in the system.

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Out of these objects, 877 have made it onto ESAs NEO Risk List.

Thankfully, Asteroid SC is too small to be considered a real danger to the planet.

NASA estimates the rock measures somewhere in the range of 29.2ft to 65.6ft (8.9 m to 20m) across.

But the asteroid could still pack a punch if it entered the atmosphere undetected.

READ MORE:Only cockroaches will survive major asteroid impact, expert warns

An incident like this took place in 2013 when a 65.6ft-wide (20m) entered the skies above Russias Chelyabinsk Oblast.

The space rock exploded mid-flight, blowing out windows in a wide radius and injuring more than 1,000 people with shards of glass.

Tonight, however, the asteroid will near-miss our planet from a safe distance.

According to NASAs Center for Near Earth Object Studies, the asteroid will give Earth a wide berth of around 0.00360 au.

READ MORE: How often do asteroids hit Earth? What is the danger

Just one au measures the distance between our home planet and the Sun about 93 million miles (149.6 million km).

In other words, Asteroid SC will miss Earth from a distance of 334,640 miles (538,552km) or 1.4 times as far as the Moon is.

NASA said: As they orbit the Sun, Near-Earth Objects can occasionally approach close to Earth.

Note that a close passage astronomically can be very far away in human terms: millions or even tens of millions of kilometres.

Read more here:

Asteroid alert: A space rock was spotted two weeks ago and now its flying towards Earth - Express.co.uk

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