Six asteroids to pass close to Earth tomorrow, says NASA

The 2020 US Presidential election was really a wild ride, huh? Well, strap in because it’s not over yet.

Artist’s impression of the double asteroid Antiope. Image credits ESO via Wikipedia.

NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies reported that six pieces of space rock will be passing by our planet tomorrow, 20th Jan., when the US celebrates Inauguration Day — the day when the new president-elect is vested with the powers of his office.

The agency says everything should be alright and that these meteorites will zip past harmlessly. Still, after 2020 and this election’s history, we can all be forgiven some wallowing in skepticism and despair at the thought that they might not. We’ve earned it.

Friends in high places

Inauguration Day marks the transition of power from one administration to the next — this year, that means from the Trump administration to the Biden team. It also marks the occasion on which four meteorites will do a close fly-by of Earth, hopefully missing us entirely.

According to NASA’s estimates, the closest one (asteroid 2021 BK1) will fly by Earth at around the same distance the Moon orbits at. So they should be pretty harmless. The largest of them is around 93 meters in width, which is the height of the Statue of Liberty.

All in all, we should be fine and well-missed by the space rocks. Still, this is close enough to be considered a “close approach” by NASA, and the agency will keep a close eye on the asteroids and their trekking. So let’s all hope for an uneventful Inauguration Day.

More information on these asteroids here (all six asteroids listed for 2021-Jan-20 in the table).

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