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  5. Two tiny asteroids to zoom past Earth this Diwali — likely without any fireworks

Two tiny asteroids to zoom past Earth this Diwali — likely without any fireworks

Two tiny asteroids to zoom past Earth this Diwali — likely without any fireworks
  • Two tiny asteroids are set to make their close approach to Earth on November 14, Diwali.
  • Asteroid 2020 TB9 is the smaller of the two with an average diameter of 30 meters — barely bigger than aircraft.
  • Asteroid 2020 ST1, while bigger and faster than Asteroid 2020 TB9, will be further away at a distance of around 7.3 million kilometers.
This Diwali as humans figure out how to celebrate Diwali amid the coronavirus pandemic and the social distancing, two asteroids will be visiting from outer space.

Asteroid 2020 TB9 and 2020 ST1 are expected to zoom past Earth on November 14, hopefully without contributing any fireworks of their own, according to the Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS).

While both of them are on the watch list of asteroids to track, it’s unlikely that they will be crashing into the planet on the day of the festivities.


Overall, the four-day Diwali weekend will witness four asteroids. Asteroid 2020 VL1 will only be three times further from Earth than the Moon November 13 and Asteroid 2019 VL5 will fly past on November 15 at a distance that is nearly nine times further than the Moon.

Meet the Diwali asteroids
Asteroid 2020 TB9 is the smaller of the two with an average diameter of 30 meters — barely bigger than aircraft. Not only is it tiny, it will also be over 5 million kilometers away as it makes its close approach towards Earth flying in at 21,600 kilometers per hour (kmph).

Asteroid 2020 ST1, while bigger and faster than Asteroid 2020 TB9, will be even further away at a distance of around 7.3 million kilometers. The asteroid’s average diameter is 175 meters — which is around half as tall as the Eiffel Tower — and it will be zooming past the planet at speeds of nearly 30,000 kmph.

Asteroid

Time of close approach

Diameter

Speed

Distance from Earth

2020 TB9

9:30 am on November 14

19m - 42m

13.03 kilometers per second

6 times further than the moon

2020 ST1

1:45 pm on November 14

110m - 240m

19.03 kilometers per second

8 times further than the moon


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