Asteroid bigger than Burj Khalifa will pass by Earth on 21 August

An asteroid will pass by Earth on Saturday, 21 August. The asteroid is 1.4 km wide and it's travelling at the speed of 94,208 km/h. It is a mid-sized asteroid and will pass within 3,427,445 km of Earth.

Named as 2016 AJ193, it will approach Earth at 11:10 am ET (8:40 pm IST). NASA has been classified as a Near-Earth Asteroid and a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid. NASA astronomers will observe the asteroid from 20 August and 24 August using radar.

 Near Earth Asteroid 2016 AJ193 will fly by Earth on Saturday, 21 August. Image credit: Pixabay

While at this distance the asteroid is approaching Earth, is safe it has still been classified as potentially hazardous because, in astronomical terms, the distance is a fairly close approach.

By studying the orbit of the asteroid, we know that there is no chance of it colliding with Earth.

As reported by EarthSky, the year in the name of the asteroid comes from the time when it was spotted in January 2016.

To put it into perspective, according to a JPost report, asteroid 2016 AJ193 is 1.5 times the size of the Burj Khalifa, more than three times the size of the Empire State Building and over 4.5 times the size of the Eiffel Tower.

It was first spotted by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) facility at Hawaii’s Haleakala Observatory.

According to NASA JPL, the asteroid's orbit is highly elliptical and it orbits the Sun every 2,160 days or every 5.91 years.

The publication mentions that even at its closest distance, 2016 AJ193 will remain 8.9 times further than the distance of the moon from Earth.

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