Jun 20, 2019 | Updated: 09:31 AM EDT

Asteroid Shot Past The Earth At 22,000 MPH

May 20, 2019 02:39 PM EDT

(Photo : https://pixabay.com/photos/asteroid-comet-meteorite-3628185/)

A massive asteroid flew past the Earth last Saturday. It is named by scientists as the asteroid 2019 JR1. This celestial visitor swung by for what astronomers refer to as the "Close Approaches," coming only a few miles away from the planet. Could you imagine how much devastation it would have cost if it hit the planet? Scientists could only be thankful that it didn't. It was just close enough for them to observe.

The asteroid 2019 JR1 falls under the category of Near-Earth Objects (NEO), but it only fell unto NASA's radar about two weeks ago. It was first spotted moving towards the Earth on May 2. It was determined to be something Apollo-like asteroid, which basically pertains to its movement around the solar system that is like that of the 1982 Asteroid Apollo. It occasionally crosses the Earth's orbit as it moves around the sun.

According to the data from the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies of NASA (CNEOS), the asteroid 2019 JR1 is estimated to measure 242 feet in diameter. While space rocks are often seen as an object that could cause disruption and other serious problems when it comes too close to Earth, the asteroid 2019 JR1 didn't give scientists any reason to worry. The object came past the Earth. It flew by without leaving any traces of danger. Also, scientists reported that the object won't be seen near the Earth anytime soon. These were announced by the experts from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of NASA.

"It is important to note that the term close may be used to describe the distance of astronomical objects to the Earth's surface, but this could mean very far away in human realistic terms. It could mean tens of millions of kilometers," CNEOS explains.

The agency further explains that Near-Earth Objects are celestial bodies that may have been nudged by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets that orbit in the galaxy. This may have allowed them to enter the Earth's atmosphere. Tomorrow, the Earth might be in close brush with another space object. This time, it might be dealing with a rather formidable asteroid. It is described as a massive 1, 280 feet asteroid that is nearly three times as big as the Great Pyramid of Giza. It may be in close proximity with Earth but its passing would be safe. Its distance can be likened to that of 4 million miles from the Earth's surface.

Is the Earth safe from Asteroids? It really depends. As long as they don't touch the Earth's surface, scientists say there is nothing to worry about.

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