We often like to believe that the Universe is a pretty safe place, at least for our planet, but studying a little astronomy will change your mind fast. The asteroid belt located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter is teeming with big chunks of rocks. While they’re inactive for now, fortunately, some of them could pose a real threat one day.
We now must learn about two large asteroids that will come close to Earth in a matter of days. According to Newsweek, those two space rocks are known as 2016 CZ31 and 2013 CU83. NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) database is revealing to us the approach of the asteroids.
No reason to worry
There’s no reason to worry, at least for now, that any of the asteroids will hit our planet. 2016 CZ31, for instance, will approach our planet at a maximum of about 1.7 million miles away from our surface. That’s surely a long distance for us humans and insurance that we’re not in danger. But for the Universe, it’s nothing. The asteroid measures a few hundred feet across, which means enough to have the potential to cause significant damage if it hits. Luckily, it won’t, judging by the current calculations.
Even so, the 2016 CZ31 asteroid is indeed in a big hurry. It achieves an incredible velocity of 34,500 miles per hour.
The other asteroid, namely 2013 CU83, might be even bigger than 2016 CZ31. The former measures between 459 and 1,050 feet across.
Astronomer Scott Sheppard from the University of Hawaii’s Institute of Astronomy recently raised an important aspect regarding the search for NEOs (near-Earth asteroids). In his view that was published in the Science journal, the scientist believes that astronomers should look more for asteroids that come from the direction of the Sun. They might have been looking for such space rocks too much during nighttime when the Sun doesn’t make their search too difficult because of its light.