By: April Carson
A cosmic encounter with a treasure trove of ancient knowledge is coming our way this weekend, and you won't want to miss it!
This weekend, an asteroid bigger than The Great Pyramid of Giza (and one if not the seven wonders of ancient times) will pass Earth on October 15, 2021. It was only discovered this year with a diameter estimated between 160 meters (fifth larger) to 2 kilometers long! This event could be seen from any location on Earth that has clear skies for viewing asteroids or comets during evening hours when the object is nearest.
The asteroid, which will pass by at a distance of about 3 million miles from Earth when it is at its closest, will come within about 3 million miles of our planet. That's much closer than either of Earth's neighboring planets, Venus (77 million miles) or Mars (244 million miles).
2021 SM3 is a near-Earth object or NEO that comes within 120 million miles of Earth. This would make it the closest asteroid to us since NASA started tracking them in 1978! The following year, there were two others under 30 miles away from our planet, but they weren't as safe because they didn't have any electricity.
If you compare it to an unstoppable force like a speeding vehicle accident that might easily kill someone if not handled swiftly enough, these brushes must feel pretty nice today compared to an indestructible weapon like a shotgun. This is an asteroid that could have destroyed the US if it had struck with its full speed of 15,400 miles per hour at the center of our continent instead of the Pacific Ocean. A collision with 2021 SM3 would not cause any major damage on Earth, but there are six asteroids that scientists keep their eyes on 2019 MU6. The next significant threat from the sky is expected to arrive in September 2, 2029 when a space rock named Apophis is calculated to fly at a distance of about 8.9 million miles from our planet.
The Minor Planet Center, a division of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), classifies NEOs as comets and asteroids that have been nudged by planetary gravitational attraction into orbits that bring them within the Earth's neighborhood.
Numerical and analytical methods of analysis were used to calculate trajectories of high-magnitude NEOs, taking their position at the absolute beginning of the CNEOS epoch (1900) and predicting them through the solar system to 2200. This enables them to assess which NEO asteroids are Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs).
The term "PHA" refers to an asteroid with a diameter greater than about 140 meters and travels 4.5 million miles from Earth. While 2021 SM3 meets these requirements, it does not make the Sentry Table maintained by CNEOS known as the Sentry Table, which states that it has been excluded from colliding with Earth for at least 500 years.
The Apollo asteroids are a group of space rocks that orbit near Earth, and one will come within 2 million miles on October 20. 1996 VB3 is also an example from this category asteroid as it has similar properties with 2021 SM3: both objects have orbits wider than those around our planet which cross its path when we loop around the sun (a phenomenon called Apogee).
As these two Near-Earth Asteroids approach us at different times, it is good to be aware that every day Earth has more than 100 flybys.
While some of these asteroids are harmless since they do not approach us, others may collide with our planet in the future if their orbit changes after a close encounter with another asteroid or planet, such as Jupiter.
Fortunately, NASA astronomers spend their days trying to meet as many of these Near-Earth Objects as possible to predict their orbital path and avoid a future collision with Earth.
CHECK OUT BILLY'S AWESOME PODCAST - SECRETS OF ATLANTIS AND THE ANNUNAKI!! the Anunnaki are a group of deities of the ancient Sumerians, Akkadians, Assyrians, and Babylonians.
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