Asteroid alarm: Extreme close approach of colossal ball of rock on Earth-crossing orbit


The newly discovered will skim in extremely close to the planet’s surface, has announced. The chunk of celestial elements is currently cruising at a breakneck speed of 26,843 mph and its close approach will be will just 107,828 miles away. By comparison, the average distance between Earth and the moon is about 238,900 miles.

As such, this is expected to pass at just under half the Earth-moon distance when it careers by our planet today, the closest approach in a long time.

The asteroid’s name is 2019 VD and it is the latest in a series of close asteroid approaches that have brought space rocks of various sizes in close proximity to our planet over the past couple of months.

2019 VD is a near-earth asteroid that has an orbit that crosses the Earth’s orbit similar to that of 1862 Apollo.

The space rock was first picked up by asteroid trackers on October 25.

Asteroid 2019 VD on close approach

Asteroid 2019 VD on close approach (Image: GETTY)

The rock was classified as a near-Earth object (NEO), specifically, an Apollo-type asteroid.

As an Apollo asteroid, the rock has the potential of being “Earth-crossing”, which means that its orbital path around the sun not only brings it close to Earth, but also allows it to cross the planet’s orbit.

The asteroid called 2019 VD is expected to not impact the Earth.

But, if it did it would cause widespread damage.

Asteroid 2019 VD on close approach

Asteroid 2019 VD on close approach (Image: GETTY)

Meteor crater

Meteor crater (Image: GETTY)

Asteroid

Asteroid (Image: GETTY)

The physical composition of asteroids is varied and in most cases poorly understood.

Some appear to be composed of a rocky core covered by an icy mantle, whereas others are thought to have a nickel-iron core, olivine mantle, and basaltic crust.

Asteroid 10 Hygiea, however, which appears to have a uniformly primitive composition of carbonaceous chondrite, is thought to be the largest undifferentiated asteroid.

Most of the smaller asteroids are thought to be piles of rubble held together loosely by gravity, though the largest are probably solid.

Asteroid

Asteroid fact file (Image: Express)

In August 2011, a report, based on NASA studies with meteorites found on Earth, was published suggesting DNA and RNA components (adenine, guanine and related organic molecules) may have been formed on asteroids and comets in outer space.

According to NASA’s Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), several recently discovered asteroids have swung by Earth in recent weeks.

Asteroid

Asteroid (Image: GETTY)

Some asteroids have moons or are co-orbiting binaries.

Rubble piles, moons, binaries, and scattered asteroid families are thought to be the results of collisions that disrupted a parent asteroid, or, possibly, a planet.

Asteroids contain traces of amino acids and other organic compounds, and some speculate that asteroid impacts may have seeded the early Earth with the chemicals necessary to initiate life, or may have even brought life itself to Earth, this is a theory known as panspermia.

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