Close encounter: 90-foot asteroid, travelling at speed of 29961 kmph passes by Earth today

Although the asteroid has been categorised within the Apollo group which is known for their Earth-crossing orbits and is massive in size, experts have said that it does not pose any direct threat to the planet.

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Top Indian News Desk
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Courtesy: X/latestinspace

An asteroid with a width of 99 feet named as 2024 KA1 will pass near Earth on Saturday. This space visitor is flying at 29,961 mph and will arrive at Earth's closest point at 16:36 IST. NASA's Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) estimates that the asteroid will fly within a distance of 1.8 million kilometres (km) from Earth. Even though this distance seems large, it is considered a close approach in astronomy.

No impending threat

Although the asteroid has been categorised within the Apollo group which is known for their Earth-crossing orbits and is massive in size, experts have said that it does not pose any direct threat to the planet. The vast majority of near-Earth objects (NEOs) do not pose any immediate threat to the safety of the planet. But there lies a group of asteroids that have been classified as potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) that require scrutiny. Defined by their size, these can exceed 460 feet and their proximity to Earth's orbit is around 7.5 million km. 

NASA and its global network of observatories including both amateurs and professional astronomers are responsible for monitoring NEOs, analysing and identifying potential threats. The data collected from these observations have helped track the route of asteroids like 2024 KA1. 

Which are upcoming asteroids? 

As per the data available, over the next few days, Earth is going to witness several close encounters with asteroids. After 2024 KA1, asteroid 2024 LC which is roughly 84 feet in size, will be approaching the planet, flying at a distance of approximately 4,703,168 km. Two more asteroids namely Asteroid 2024 LD of 67 feet and asteroid 2024 CR9 will come within about 7,371,520 km of planet Earth. But these encounters will pose no threat to the planet.