POLITICS

Asteroid as tall as Eiffel tower to zip past Earth

The 2021 KT1 has a diameter larger than 492ft and will come within 4.6 million miles of Earth, making it a ‘potentially hazardous’ object.

Asteroid

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Edited By

Abhishek Sharma

Updated: Jun 1, 2021, 10:44 PM IST

A huge and ‘potentially hazardous’ asteroid that is bigger than the Eiffel Tower will fly by Earth on Tuesday at a distance of roughly 4.5 million miles.

The 2021 KT1 will zip past Earth on June 1 at a speed of 40,000mph, at 10:24 EDT, NASA said on its website.

NASA says that the 2021 KT1 has a diameter larger than 492ft and will come within 4.6 million miles of Earth, making it a ‘potentially hazardous’ object. 

As per US space agency NASA, the asteroid 2021 KT1 has a diameter between 492 and 1,082 feet. At the mid-point of 787ft, the space rock is smaller than the size of the Eiffel Tower (1,063ft at its top), but significantly larger than Seattle’s Space Needle (605ft).

After Tuesday, the space rock will make its next close approach to Earth on May 19, 2058, and then again on June 20, 2061. 

Most such asteroids do not pose a threat to Earth, although there is a ‘small percentage of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids’ that draw extra scrutiny.

In May, asteroid 2021 GT3 flew past Earth safely at a distance of just 159,000 miles. To compare, the distance between the Earth and the moon is approximately 238,900 miles.  

As per NASA, asteroids are ‘rocky fragments left over from the formation of the solar system about 4.6 billion years ago.’

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