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Bus-Sized Asteroid Approaches Earth

Antonia R.Antonia R.

A bus-sized asteroid is approaching Earth and will be at its closest to our planet today, October 3. NASA announced that it will be at a mere 54 060 mi (87 000 km) from us.

Although the asteroid will be minimally close, the experts have stated that it poses no danger to our planet. The celestial body will pass between the Earth and Moon.

The Center for NEO (Near-Earth Object) Studies will be following the asteroid closely at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

The object is traveling at a speed of 238 600 mi (384 000 km) per hour and is called 2017 SX17. It was discovered on September 24 and according to scientific calculations, it's going to take it 467 days to complete a full orbit around the Sun.

Meanwhile, NASA is also keeping a close eye on the trajectory of another asteroid - 2012 TC4 - which is expected to fly by Earth on October 12 at a distance of just 27 030 mi (43 500 km) at its closest.

The diameter of the celestial body is between 40 ft (12 m) and 88.5 ft (27 m), making it several times larger than the meteor that hit Chelyabinsk in 2013. The asteroid has an irregular shape, another similarity between it and the Chelyabinsk meteor.


Astronomers have stated that based on its current trajectory, the object poses no danger to our planet and the chances of it hitting Earth's surface are slim.