NASA’s tracking system has detected two asteroids that will fly close to Earth this week. According to the space agency’s Centre for Near-Earth Objects, 2020 GH2 and 2020 FX3 belong to the most dangerous category of Apollo asteroids, meaning their orbits intersect with that of our planet. Both objects were categorised as potentially hazardous and will fly past our planet on 15 April.
2020 GH2 is 98 feet (29 metres) wide and according to NASA won't pose a danger to Earth due to its small size. Even if the asteroid falls on our planet it wouldn’t be able reach the surface as it will burn up in Earth's atmosphere, causing an explosion in the air.
However, 2020 FX3 is too big to burn up in the atmosphere. It has an estimated diameter of 295 feet (89 metres), approximately the size of the Statue of Liberty, and travels at a breakneck speed of 23,000 miles per hour (37,000 kmph). If it falls on our planet it will wipe out an area the size of a town.
But these two celestial objects are merely peanuts compared to a whopper of an asteroid that will swoosh past the Earth on 29 April. Asteroid (52768) 1998 OR2 has an estimate diameter of 1.1 miles (1.8 kilometres). This is as big as the isle of Manhattan. The good news is this behemoth will be 3.9 million miles away from Earth when it flies past our planet.