While it is a daily occurrence for an asteroid to close in on the Earth’s orbit, it is rarer for multiple asteroids to do so. Monday, the 9th of September, will bear witness to such an incident as three asteroids are predicted to fly dangerously close to the Earth. While NASA has not predicted any of the asteroids to crash into the earth’s surface, the foreign bodies of varying sizes and speeds are passing close enough that they have been put on Asteroid Watch, as NASA has classified them ‘potentially hazardous’.
The asteroids named 2019 RX1, 2019 QZ3 and 2019 RG2 are giving scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration a field day with their proximity and record speeds. They have categorised them into Apollo Asteroids, a ménage of planetoids that follow a lengthy route around the Sun and the Earth sometimes intersecting into the latter’s orbit. These space rocks are affected by the gravitational pull of the surrounding planets and other celestial bodies.
Asteroid 2019 RG2 is expected to come in close proximity of almost a million kilometres from the earth’s surface whilst flying at a record speed of 79,164 kilometres per hour.