NASA is warning of the second ‘stadium-sized’ asteroid headed towards the Earth in as many weeks, shortly after announcing the postponement of its critical planetary defense mission to 2022.
On February 27, the asteroid 2021 DE, with a diameter roughly the same size as the Arc de Triomphe (49m), will buzz the Earth at a distance of 1.6 million kilometers (mn km), followed shortly afterwards on February 28 by the 20-meter 2021 DM at a distance of 4.8 mn km.
Upping the ante significantly the following day, March 1, will be the Statue of Liberty-sized (91m) space rock 2011 DW, which will shoot past at a distance of 5.3 mn km.
Then on March 2 comes the piece de resistance, the second asteroid in two weeks which NASA describes as ‘stadium-size’: 1999 RM45, with a diameter of 396m – roughly 1.1 times the height of the Empire State building, 1.75 times that of the Golden Gate Bridge, or 0.5 times the size of the Burj Khalifa – will pay the Earth a passing visit at a safe distance of 2.6 mn km.
None of the aforementioned asteroids pose a particular threat to the planet, according to current understanding of their trajectories, but increasing reports about stadium-sized asteroids entering the Earth’s vicinity merely heighten fears of a potential impact. (RT)
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