Earth is threatened by an asteroid collision

Earth is threatened by an asteroid collision
Earth is threatened by an asteroid collision

The Earth may collide with an asteroid in the next few hours. According to available information, RBC Daily reports, early in the morning one asteroid has already swept past the planet, while the second should fly near the Earth in the evening.

The flying asteroid was discovered by astronomers on April 4. Its estimated size is about 10 m in diameter. Scientists have named it 2011 GW9. This celestial body swept 199 thousand km from the Earth, that is, this distance is half that to the Moon. The second asteroid - 2011 GP28 should fly even closer, only 95 thousand km, so the threat of a collision is not excluded. However, its size is smaller - its diameter is about 6–8 m.

According to RIA Novosti, 2011 GW9 flew past the Earth at 04:58 GMT (08:58 Moscow time), 2011 GP28 will approach the Earth at 19:36 GMT (23:36 Moscow time).

At the moment, astronomers have counted 1214 potentially dangerous asteroids that are approaching our planet at a distance of less than 7.4 million km. Approximately once a year, one asteroid with a diameter of several meters invades the Earth's atmosphere. But such asteroids burn up in the atmosphere, causing an outburst at an altitude of 30-40 km, and do no harm.

Scientists believe that the most dangerous asteroid at the moment is the asteroid Apophis (2004 MN4), whose diameter is 350 m. In 2029, it will pass about 30 thousand km from the Earth - closer than the orbit of geostationary satellites. At the same time, Apophis can change its orbit so that the next time it approaches the Earth in 2036, it will collide with it, and this can lead to desertification of an area approximately equal to France. The probability of Apophis hitting the Earth in 2036 is estimated at four in a million.

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