NASA has shared a warning about five asteroids that will cross Earth on Wednesday and shoot out later this week, two of which will be closer to our planet than the moon, as the widely felt horrific year of 2020 approaches.
Two London buses about the size of a telephone pole would have crossed the Earth on Wednesday with some three space rocks with a diameter from end to end.
Named 2020 XF4, the 11-meter asteroid will fly at 343,000 km (213,130 mph), while the 24-meter 2020 VO1 will fly at a speed of five million kilometers, bringing the rear of the 2020 XS5 to a safe distance equivalent to three million km. For reference, the average distance between the Earth and the Moon is about 385,000 kilometers (239,000 miles).
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With the start of the weekend for many, on Friday, the relatively small 6.6-meter 2020 XX3 will cross Earth at a distance of 57,100 km, and shortly thereafter the 30-meter space rock will give the 2020 XF3 planet the vast Perth, 6.9 million km.
Meanwhile, Japanese scientists are delighted to see an unexpectedly large amount of dust and gas taken from the Ryu asteroid after opening the sealed capsule left on Earth by the Hayapusa 2 probe.
The Hayabusa craft traveled about 400 million km to collect and return surface samples from a distant asteroid and unravel some of the mysteries of the universe, including the origin of life on Earth.
This mission could also provide insights into how to prepare our planetary defenses if the incoming asteroid gets stuck any closer than this week’s collection of cosmic artillery.
“When we actually opened it, I was speechless. It was more than we expected, so I was really impressed.” Japan Space Research Organization (JAXA) scientist Hirodaka Savada said.
“It’s not fine particles like powder, but there were plenty of specimens measuring several millimeters.”
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Preliminary tests indicate that the samples have “Lots of organic matter” According to Sciro Watanabe, a Hayabusa project scientist and professor at the University of Nagoya.
As more experiments and studies are conducted here on Earth, the Hayapusa 2 study will continue its mission and visit two other asteroids looking for additional answers about life and the universe.
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