It’s a record day for asteroids as three of them plan to fly past Earth
- Three asteroids — 2019 RX1, 2019 QZ3 and 2019 RG2 — are going to be flying past Earth today.
- Asteroid 2019 RG2's close approach to Earth will be uncomfortably close at 500,000 kilometers.
- Asteroid 2019 RG2 will also be moving at record speeds of 79,164 kilometers per hour.
A single asteroid flying past Earth isn't an anomaly — it happens on a daily basis. Two asteroids whizzing past the planet is a tad rarer, as it happens only once a month or so. Three asteroids on the same day, on the other hand, is exceptionally rare.
Today, asteroids 2019 RX1, 2019 QZ3 and 2019 RG2 will be making their visit close to Earth.
Aside from the fact that there will be three asteroids gunning for the planet, it's even rarer for one to get this close. Most asteroids that approach the Earth are normally at least two million kilometers away. But 2019 RG2 will be a mere 524,000 kilometers away from our planet.
Why size matters
All three asteroids are extremely small. Asteroid 2019 QZ3 is the biggest of the three with a diameter of 38 meters, but that's only as big as the Lotus Temple in Delhi.
Asteroid 2019 RX1 is smaller and only 28 meters in diameter — about the size of the Gateway of India in Mumbai.
2019 RG2, which will be the closest to Earth, is the smallest. It's only 11 meters in size — twice the height of an average human being.
Fast and furious
Because 2019 RG2 is so small, it will travel at extremely fast at speed of 79,164 kilometers per hour. This will make it the second fastest asteroid to fly past Earth in September — and even October and November.
In comparison, asteroid RX1 will be travelling at nearly half the speed of 47,988 kilometers. 2019 QZ 3, the slowest of the three, will be at a mere 26,892 kilometers.
The only asteroid that will be faster is the one scheduled to whizz past Earth on 24 September 2019 at a speed of 80,136 kilometers per hour. But it will be much further away — 4 million kilometers away.
None of the three asteroids are on a collision course with Earth, as no alert has been issued by the Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS). Nonetheless, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory classified them as ‘potentially hazardous' and put them on Asteroid Watch.
The 10 biggest asteroids that could crash into Earth in 2019
An asteroid only turns into a meteor if it falls to Earth
An asteroid nearly half the size of Mount Everest might be on a collision course for Earth in less than a year
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