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Newfound asteroid big as house will fly safely by Earth on April 15

Christian Fernsby ▼ | April 14, 2020
A newly discovered asteroid about the size of a house will zip safely by Earth April 15, passing just inside the orbit of the moon.
2020 GH2
Asteroid   2020 GH2
The asteroid 2020 GH2 will pass Earth at a range of about 223,000 miles (359,000 kilometers). The average distance from the Earth to the moon is about 239,000 miles (385,000 km).

According to NASA's Asteroid Watch program, asteroid 2020 GH2 is about between 43 and 70 feet (13-70 meters) wide, or about the size of a detached house. It was first discovered on April 11 and is being tracked by astronomers at several observatories, including the Catalina Sky Survey at Mount Lemmon in Arizona, according to the Minor Planet Center at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Asteroid 2020 GH2 poses no impact risk to Earth during its flyby. While flying inside the moon's orbit sounds like a close shave by an asteroid, there's actually a lot of room.

Any asteroid about 500 feet (140 m) or larger with an orbit that brings it within 4.7 million miles (7.5 million km) of Earth is classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid, NASA officials have said. As of 2019, scientists have discovered about 19,000 near-Earth asteroids, with about 30 newfound asteroids added each week.


 

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