An Asteroid called 2016 NF23 Poses No Threat to Earth

An Asteroid called 2016 NF23 Poses No Threat to Earth

A Near-Earth Object will pass by us safely and there is nothing to worry about.

Asteroid Impacts are always on the cards and this is the reason why NASA maintains a complete record of all the Near-Earth Objects (NEO). Recently, the news of a potentially dangerous asteroid coming a way too close to the Earth were circulating in the media and it did gain significant public attention. Having said that, NASA acknowledged its existence but, at the same time, clarified that it will not collide with our planet. Lindsey Johnson, a Planetary Defense Officer at NASA Headquarters, explained the story regarding 2016 NF23 in the following words:

“There is absolutely nothing for concern by this pass of 2016 NF23. This object is merely designated a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) because its orbit over time brings it within 5 million miles (8 million kilometers) of Earth’s orbit, but there is nothing hazardous to Earth or even unique about this pass of the asteroid.”

According to the calculations of NASA, the diameter of this asteroid lies in the range of 70 to 160 meters. This means that it can potentially be bigger than the Great Pyramid of Giza but that is not an alarming thing given the general sizes of asteroids. However, a rocky asteroid of this size moving at the speed of 32,400 km/h might look frightening in the first place but things are not that critical. Rocky objects fly past our planet regularly and often much closer than 2016 NF23. Some of the media outlets reported that it will come incredibly close to the Earth but that is not true. It will pass us by at nearly 13.2 Lunar Distances (LD). Given the fact that 1 LD is equal to the distance between Earth and the Moon, 2016 NF23 will be more than 5 million kilometers away from our home planet.

This year, a lot of objects are expected to fly within 1 LD to Earth which shows how common these potentially hazardous asteroids are. NASA has already found 1,912 of such asteroids till 23rd August. The fact that the NEO 1998 SD9 will pass by Earth at 4.2 LD on 29th August clearly shows that 2016 NF23 is moving past us at quite a safe distance. As far as NEO 1998 SD9 is concerned, it will come closer than any known potentially hazardous asteroid in the coming two months yet it will not collide with our planet. The diameter of this asteroid, traveling at a speed of 38,520 km/h, is expected to be somewhere between 38 and 86 meters. Johnson mentioned that a lot of NEOs are flying past Earth these days but none of them carries significant dangers of an impact. He said,

“None of these passes will have any effect on Earth.”

Scientists warned the general public that they must research a bit before believing in these rumors about potentially hazardous asteroids. You can also view a video in this regard at the following video:

Computer Scientist by qualification who loves to read, write, eat, and travel

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