According to NASA, asteroid 465824 2010 FR, twice the Pyramid of Giza’s size, was classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA).
NASA kept track of the asteroid, as it is expected to cross our planet’s orbit on September 6.
It is classified as a NEO (Near-Earth Object).
NEOs sometimes move closer to our planet as they orbit the Sun.
When that happens, NASA’s CNEOS (Center for Near-Earth Object Study) calculates their distance and trajectory. NEOS are comets and asteroids affected by nearby planets’ gravitational pull into orbits that provoke them to enter our planet’s vicinity.
Such objects are mostly composed of ice and dust particles.
The asteroid in cause was discovered on March 18, 2010, by the CSS (Catalina Sky Survey).
Scientists keep track of asteroids to find information about celestial bodies’ formation and history since asteroids formed simultaneously with other objects of the solar system.
The other reason why scientists keep close track of asteroids is that they could be potentially hazardous.
Are They Dangerous?
The Planetary Society says that there are currently one billion asteroids with diameters bigger than one meter.
The objects that can provoke real damage upon impact are typically larger than 30 meters.
Each year, approximately 30 small asteroids hit our planet, but rarely cause any damage.
“Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) are currently defined based on parameters that measure the asteroid’s potential to make threatening close approaches to the Earth. Specifically, all asteroids with a minimum orbit intersection distance (MOID) of 0.05 au or less are considered PHAs,” NASA says.
“It only means there is a possibility for such a threat. By monitoring these PHAs and updating their orbits as new observations become available, we can better predict the close-approach statistics and thus their Earth-impact threat,” the agency added.
Therefore, stay calm; we are most likely safe!