The widely-perceived unlucky day, Friday the 13th is about to get scarier and there's nothing superstitious about it. NASA has spotted a massive asteroid the size of Boeing 747 plane heading towards Earth at a speed of almost 18,000 miles per hour. At that speed, the asteroid is expected to get shockingly close to Earth.
According to NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the asteroid is crossing Earth's orbit and it is about 243-feet wide, which is same as the width of Boeing 747 plane. The approaching asteroid is expected to pass by Earth at 8:25 a.m. EST on Friday. As per the data collected by the agency, the asteroid is expected to pass by Earth at a shocking close 0.03033 astronomical units, which roughly translates to around 1.9 million miles away.
The CNEOS has officially classified the 2019 X01 as an Aten asteroid, which means its orbit circulates around several celestial bodies in the solar system, including the Sun, Venus, Mercury and Earth. The asteroid occasionally intersects with Earth's orbit, mostly when it is furthest from the Sun.
Once the asteroid passes by Earth this week, it will once again cross Earth's orbit on December 22, 2022, according to NASA. But at the time, it won't get as close as this time, flying past at a distance of 0.09534 astronomical units or roughly 8.9 million miles away. The last time 2019 X01 asteroid got closest to Earth was in 2013, when it flew past our home planet from a distance of 0.09488 astronomical units or about 8.8 million miles away.
According to the asteroid's trajectory, the space rock will approach Earth from a diagonal or perpendicular direction, flying almost parallel to Earth after it has intersected the planet's orbit. But there's nothing to be alarmed about as researchers haven't raised any red flags regarding this space event.
More asteroids to fly past Earth
2019 X01 is one of 13 space rocks to fly past Earth in December alone. On December 18, asteroid 2019 XF is expected to fly past Earth at a speed of 24km per second, making it the fastest of the lot. A massive asteroid 216258 (2006 WH1), measuring 240m - 540m, will fly past Earth on December 20.
Four asteroids, 2019 XY, asteroid 2019 XB and 2019 WT3 and 2019 WO2, have already brushed past Earth in this month. We are expecting 9 more space guests fly past our planet.