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Science Tips Tips Tricks Technology Asteroid the size of Empire State Building nears earth this weekend

Science Tips Tips Tricks Technology

Science Tips Tips Tricks Technology The asteroid is estimated to be 1,1000ft in diameter, while the Empire State Building stands at approximately 1,400ft tall.


JUNE 5, 2020 14:39

Artist’s Impression of a collision of two icy asteroid-sized bodies orbiting the bright star Fomalhaut

(photo credit: REUTERS)

An asteroid almost as tall as the Empire State Building in New York is expected to fly near earth this weekend.

Asteroid 2002 NN4 is set to pass by earth on June 6th, according to the space agency’s asteroid watch widget which provides easy access to information on the next five asteroids expected to pass by earth. 

Information provided on the widget shows the asteroid, named Asteroid 2002 NN4, to be approximately 1,100ft in diameter (about 335 meters), while the Empire State Building stands at approximately 1,400ft (426 meters).

Despite information provided by the widget putting the asteroid at 300 ft shorter than the iconic building, more in depth information listed about the asteroid on NASA’s Center for Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) website, which monitors close approaches to Earth, approximates the asteroid to be anywhere from 820-1,870ft (250-570 meters) in diameter. 

The asteroid will be at its nearest to earth at a distance of 3,160,000 miles.  

The widget shows the next five asteroids that are expected to come within 4.6 million miles from earth, and provides size comparison pictures of on-earth objects. While Asteroid 2002 NN4 has been compared to the average size of a sports stadium, another asteroid also expected to pass near earth on June 6 is shown to be the size of plane, nearing earth at a distance of 890,000 miles. 

More than 30 near earth objects (NEO) are discovered each week, roughly 500 per year, according to NASA’s Planetary Defense website. Roughly half of the known NEOs are objects larger than about 460 feet (140 meters) in size. 

The estimated population of NEOs of this size is about 25,000. 

In 2019, when just over 19,000 had been discovered, scientists from NASA and other space agencies from around the world gathered for an international Planetary Defense Conference, one of many steps in  the space agency’s preparedness plans in case an asteroid were to hit earth. 

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The realistic wildlife fine art paintings and prints of Jacquie Vaux begin with a deep appreciation of wildlife and the environment. Jacquie Vaux grew up in the Pacific Northwest, soon developed an appreciation for nature by observing the native wildlife of the area. Encouraged by her grandmother, she began painting the creatures she loves and has continued for the past four decades. Now a resident of Ft. Collins, CO she is an avid hiker, but always carries her camera, and is ready to capture a nature or wildlife image, to use as a reference for her fine art paintings.

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