Three giant asteroids to zip past Earth in June, reveals NASA

They are potentially hazardous because they pass near Earth’s orbit

Oldest meteorite collection on Earth discovered in Chile Representational Image | Pixabay

NASA is keeping track of three giant asteroid set to skim past Earth in June. A number of large space rocks hurtling through the solar system will be approaching our planet Earth in comparatively close range. NASA’s Near-Earth Object (NEO) web-site at the Centre for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) reveals that they will be fast approaching the Earth this month.

NEOs lie partly between 0.983 and 1.3 astronomical units (AU; Sun–Earth distance) away from the Sun. Though they are not necessarily currently near the Earth, but they can potentially approach the Earth relatively closely. NASA says that an object larger than about 150 metres, which can approach Earth within 7.4 million kilometers, is considered potentially dangerous.


NASA JPL has classified 2002 NN4 as a “Potentially Hazardous Asteroid.”

Asteroid 163348 (2002 NN4) that will swing 'close' by Earth on Saturday has a diameter of 570 metres—as big as the length of almost five football fields. It will breach the Minimum Orbit Intersection Distance (MOID) of 0.05 AU (7.48 million kilometres). However, there is no reason to be worried as the distance at which asteroid 2002 NN4 is approaching Earth only within the safe limit. When it is closest to Earth, it will be at a distance of over 13x the average distance between Earth and the moon.


The approach by Asteroid 2013 XA22, which will breach the MOID on Monday, June 8 at 3:40PM UTC, will be significantly closer than that of the 2002 NN4, coming to 0.019 AU (2.93 million kilometres) of Earth. Though it is smaller in size, it has peak diameter of 160 metres. It has a relative velocity of 24,050 kmph.


The asteroid 441987 (2010 NY65) will cross Earth on Wednesday, June 24, at 6:44AM UTC and is estimated to breach the MOID at 0.025 AU (3.76 million kilometres) from Earth. It has a peak size of 310 metres in its diameter. With a relative velocity of 46,400 kmph, 2010 NY65 will have the highest among the three large asteroids set to come the closest to Earth during this month.

Asteroid Watch Widget

NASA's Asteroid Watch Widget tracks asteroids and comets that will make relatively close approaches to Earth. The Widget displays the date of closest approach, approximate object diameter, relative size and distance from Earth for each encounter. The object's name is displayed by hovering over its encounter date. Clicking on the encounter date will display a Web page with details about that object.

The Widget displays the next five Earth approaches to within 4.6 million miles (7.5 million kilometers or 19.5 times the distance to the moon); an object larger than about 150 meters that can approach the Earth to within this distance is termed a potentially hazardous object.