Asteroid news: NASA tracks flyby of six asteroids on day of Joe Biden’s inauguration

Hayabusa-2: Samples from asteroid Ryugu return to Earth

Donald Trump’s presidency draws to an end and Joe Biden’s begins on Inauguration Day this Wednesday, January 20. To mark the occasion, thousands will descend on Washington to celebrate the Democrat’s victory. But that’s not the only way the inauguration will be marked today.

NASA has now confirmed this auspicious transfer of power in Washington will seemingly be marked by six ‘Earth close approaches’ by asteroids.

The largest – and arguably most spectacular – of the space rocks to skim past our planet today is dubbed asteroid 2021 BC.

US-based space agency NASA believes this cosmic debris may measure as much as 305ft (93m) across, putting the monster on a similar scale to New York’s iconic Statue of Liberty.

Asteroid 2021 BC has been accurately calculated to be making a rendezvous with Earth’s neighbourhood at 9.47pm GMT.

We will use your email address only for sending you newsletters. Please see our Privacy Notice for details of your data protection rights.

The Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) has also confirmed how the asteroid will be hurtling through space at an impressive 29,000mph (46,670kmh).

At its most immediate position to Earth, NASA estimates asteroid 2021 BC will be a ‘mere’ 600,000 miles (965,606km) from Earth.

But although this may seem to be too huge a distance to qualify as a “close approach”, the term is technically correct.

NASA defines any speeding space object, such as an asteroid, coming within approximately 4.65 million miles to be assigned as “potentially hazardous” by the appropriately-cautious space agency.

At the far other end of the scale, NASA has identified how the smallest of the six asteroids arriving today to be asteroid 2021 BO1.

The mini space rock is only thought to be on 13ft (4m) at the very most, and this has already been and gone, with its closet approach occurring at 2.17am GMT

This asteroid was roughly 1 million miles distant from the planet when it completed its closest approach, while travelling at approximately 29,000mph (46,670kmh).

NASA trackers intend to keep their eyes on several other asteroids during today’s historic Inauguration Day.

Black hole news: Unlimited energy could be extracted from black holes [INSIGHT]
Black hole ‘Old Faithful’ caught ripping-up a star [REPORT]
Meteor news: Fireball booms over USA as witnesses report being scared [VIDEO]

Two of these are asteroid 2021 BS and asteroid 2021 AC6 and this pair may be as large as 151ft (46m) and 174ft (53m) respectively.

The larger of the two should barrel past our world first at 8.13am GMT.

At its closest, this huge house-sized space rock will be roughly 1.8 million miles from Earth and travelling at a little more than 30,000mph (48,280kmh).

Asteroid 2021 BS will follow in the early afternoon, at 4.56pm GMT, while rushing through the void of space at 25,000mph (40,233kmh).

NASA trackers also note on their CNEOS site how this asteroid is forecast to be maintaining the most impressive social distancing, by remaining 3.6 million miles away from us.

The final two asteroids making a mark this Inauguration Day are 2021 BK1 and 2021 BL.

However, neither of these almost identically-sized space rocks boast any particularly outstanding statistics.

Although it may seems a portentous event for six asteroids to make a close encounter with our planet during a politically important day – it is actually not that unusual at all.

To put this into some sort of context, during a similar 48-hour period no less than 14 asteroids made close approaches with our world.

Source: Read Full Article