After Asteroid 2006 QQ23 zipped by Earth last month and Asteroid 2010 CO1 flew past just a few hours ago, another asteroid is set to safely pass our planet this weekend. NASA has confirmed that the Asteroid 2000 QW7, will zip by Earth at 7:54pm EDT on September 14 (5:24am IST on September 15). The space agency has underlined that although the asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth, it won’t impact the planet.
Unlike 2010 CO1 that is relatively smaller in size, the Asteroid 2000 QW7, which is estimated to be sized between 950 to 2,100 feet (290 to 650 metres), is a less frequent visitor of Earth. According to the data available with NASA JPL, the asteroid was close to Earth last time back on September 1, 2000. The next time it is believed to fly past the human world on October 19, 2038.
To recall, the Asteroid 2010 CO1 safely passed Earth this morning at 9:12am IST (11:42pm EDT, September 13).
Sized between 400 feet and 850 feet (120 to 260 metres), the Asteroid 2010 CO1 is one of the frequent visitors to Earth — with its last close approach recorded just on September 11 last year. It is also expected to fly by the blue planet again on September 16 next year and continue its annual visits until 2023, as reported by Space.com.
Space agencies, including NASA and the European Space Agency, closely track and monitor asteroids to notify humans about their moves and strikes well in advance. However, rocket company SpaceX founder and technology entrepreneur Elon Musk last month raised concerns over the lack of defence against asteroid collision.
“Great name! Wouldn’t worry about this particular one, but a big rock will hit Earth eventually & we currently have no defence,” Elon Musk tweeted in response to a tweet about asteroid 99942 Apophis that was initially believed to hit Earth in 2029, though further observations removed that possibility.