Asteroid 2008 GO20 is scheduled to come close to Earth on Sunday, July 25 at about 1:50 p.m. EDT. It is being tracked by NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS). Scientists believe the asteroid could be as much as 220 meters in diameter.
When 2008 GO20 passes our planet, its speed will be about 29611 kilometers per hour.
Although, according to CNEOS, the asteroid is close, the term “close” in space is relative. The asteroid will not fly too close past our planet and will not pose any danger to us unless something extraordinary happens that can change its trajectory. It will pass the Earth at a distance of 4.5 million kilometers. That’s more than 11 times farther away than the moon.
As its name suggests, the first observations of the asteroid were made back in 2008.According to the definition of CNEOS, the near-Earth object – a comet or an asteroid that passes in the “neighborhood” of our planet at some point of its revolution around the Sun. It will pass by Earth at a distance of more than 2.8 million miles. That’s more than 11 times farther away from us than the Moon.
As its name implies, the first observations of the asteroid were made back in 2008. According to the CNEOS definition, a near-Earth object is a comet or asteroid that passes in the “vicinity” of our planet at some point in its orbit around the Sun.
However, on longer time scales – about once every 10,000 years – we can expect our planet to collide with asteroids larger than 100 meters across. This could lead to a catastrophe in the impact area, and the collision could cause tidal waves.
Much more rarely, within a few hundred thousand years, an asteroid larger than a kilometer in cross-section could hit the Earth, which could lead to global catastrophes.
Scientists are currently working on technology that will allow an asteroid to be deflected away from Earth if it poses a threat.