NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) has detected an enormous asteroid that’s anticipated to pass dangerously close to Earth today. Asteroids that approach the planet at a very close distance pose a risk to Earth because of the gravitational forces that affect them.
NASA has labeled the approaching asteroid as 2019 MT2. According to the space company, this near-Earth Object was first observed on June 30. Its upcoming approach is presently the only recorded instance of the asteroid’s flyby with Earth. Hopefully, CNEOS will be capable of collect extra knowledge on the asteroid to be able to plot its previous and future programs.
According to CNEOS, 2019, MT2 has a maximum diameter of almost 102 feet, making it considerably longer than the distance between baseball diamond bases. The agency noted that the asteroid is presently traveling at a speed of 11.04 kilometers per second or about 25,000 miles per hour.
Though Earth is protected from 2019 MT2 for now, there’s a chance this asteroid might hit the planet in the future because of its current path. As previous research has shown, there are specific areas in space, often called keyholes. These are certain areas that are affected by the gravitational pull of nearby planets and different large cosmic bodies.
If an object passes via a keyhole, it will get affected by the gravitational forces within the area, causing it to change its path into a possible direct collision course.
Within the case of 2019 MT2, since it’s anticipated to pass near Earth and the Moon, the gravitational pull from these two cosmic bodies may considerably affect the asteroid’s orbit and nudge it into a different course. This implies the asteroid has a chance of ending up on a direct path towards Earth during its future visit.