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Asteroid Threat: Four Massive Space Rocks Almost Hit The Earth Today

First Posted: Dec 21, 2016 05:12 AM EST
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Four giant asteroids are coming close to colliding with Earth today.

The Sun reported that four massive space rocks are expected to make a close approach to Earth today. While scientists were threatened by the asteroids' proximity to the planet, they were relieved by knowing that these boulders will miss the Earth by 1.5 million miles.

These asteroids, namely, 2006LH, 2010XN, 2015YQ1 and 2006XD2 are wandering through space near each other. 2006LH, which is the largest of the four, is the closest one to pass by the Earth with a size of 260 meters in length and a speed of 8 miles per hour.

"If it were to hit it would do quite some damage," said European Space Agency planetary scientist Dr. Detlef Koschny, who co-manages the Near-Earth Object Segment of ESA's Space Situational Awareness Program. "But none of these objects have any chance to impact the Earth, so we are safe."

Asteroids usually reach the proximity of 6 million miles from the planet every month. While scientists expect this only happens individually, they were surprised to see four near-Earth space rocks coming together at the same time.

"This is very rare. I don't remember that this has ever happened before," Dr. Koschny added.

In September, NASA discovered the closest lone near-Earth asteroid, which went as close as 25,000 miles just above the South Pole. The proximity was too alarming since it was way closer compared to the 239,000-mile distance of the Earth to the Moon.

Just last month, the United Nations declared that there will be an annual celebration of International Asteroid Day every June 30. This is to raise awareness on the necessary precautions people should take in case a near-Earth asteroid comes too close, as well as to ensure the survival of humanity during a possible space rock impact.

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