Nasa spacecraft falls to Earth after being mistaken for an asteroid

Katie Ramirez
September 2, 2020

This time, it will be closer to our planet than before with an estimated distance of 1.2 lakh kilometres, closer than that of the Moon, which is 3.84 lakh kilometres away from the Earth.

The so-called "Near-Earth Object", classified as such by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), was first discovered by astronomers in 2010, and is set to cross Earth's orbit on Sunday.

This illustration shows asteroid 2020 QG's trajectory bending during its close approach to Earth. The probability of this asteroid hitting the earth is 0.41%.

"The giant outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) formed from an agglomeration of billions of comets and the leftover bits and pieces from this formation process are the comets we see today".

NASA is tracking a massive, 270 metre-wide asteroid that's nearly double the diameter of the Great Roman Colosseum, and almost twice the height of Egypt's iconic Pyramid of Giza. Nevertheless, the director noted that it is still "quite an accomplishment" to observe tiny close-in asteroids, which quickly pass by. Despite the close distance, the rock did not pose a threat to the planet.

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A couple of days back, on November 2, a day prior to the USA presidential political decision, the Asteroid 2018 VP1 was dreaded to hit the earth.

Last but not least, bringing an end to the pre-autumnal assault, on September 8 the asteroid 2020 PT4, (measuring 35m in diameter) will zip past at 1.8 million kilometers.

Even though OGO-1 turned out to be a spacecraft, and not the asteroid that first observations had suggested, it will nonetheless help the space agency track future possible objects on a collision course with Earth. On September 2, 2020 PG6 will pass by at 8L43 a.m., then 465824 (2010 FR)'s arrival on September 6. Then, on September 17 and September 20, two other asteroids are expected to pass by.

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