It is about the size of the pyramid of Giza the asteroid that will approach Earth tomorrow, Sunday 25 July, according to what Live Science reveals based on observations and calculations made by NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies.
The asteroid, named 2008 GO20, will approach a minimum distance of 4.5 million km at a speed of about 29,000 kilometers per hour.
It is a very large asteroid: according to calculations made by NASA itself, its diameter can range from 97 to 220 m. Also in this case, as for all asteroids of a certain tonnage that approach the Earth at a minimum distance of at least 7.5 million km, the piece of space rock has been included in the category of “potentially dangerous asteroids” ( potentially hazardous asteroid).
And as we always do, we also explain this time that inclusion in this special category is just a categorization method used by NASA to discern the various asteroids that are approaching the Earth based on what are the two main characteristics: their size and how close they get. Inclusion in this category does not mean that it is actually a “dangerous” asteroid, at least as far as this passage is concerned.
Just to understand, the minimum distance from the Earth that this asteroid will reach is greater than 19.5 times the average distance between the Earth itself and the Moon.
For the next steps of the asteroid, the discussion is a little different: first of all, calculating precisely the trajectory step by step becomes more and more difficult and it is precisely for this reason that such an asteroid is included in the category of potentially dangerous asteroids: NASA wants keep an eye on them to understand how in the future their trajectory, also based on the gravitational attraction of the Earth during the approach as well as that of the other planets, may vary and then become dangerous in the future.
The 2008 asteroid GO20 already approached the Earth on August 4, 1901 (minimum distance of 1.3 million km). It also approached on July 31, 1935 (1.85 million km). The next step is expected to take place on July 24, 2034 when it will get closer to distancing the Earth by 3.1 km.