2024 has begun multiple asteroid approaches in the first two days, and the trend is set to continue today. As per the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), an asteroid is expected to pass Earth by a close margin today, January 3. When NASA’s telescopes track a new Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA), astronomers measure the asteroid’s observed positions in the sky and report them to the Minor Planet Center. The Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) then uses that data to determine the asteroid’s most likely orbit around the Sun, according to NASA. Using this method, know details about Asteroid 2019 KK5 such as its speed, size, and distance of approach.
Asteroid 2019 KK5: Details
This near-Earth space rock has been designated Asteroid 2019 KK5 by NASA CNEOS. It is expected to pass Earth at a distance of just 4 million kilometers today. As per NASA, it is travelling in its orbit at a speed of 75328 kilometers per hour which is much faster than Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs)! It is important to note that while it has been termed as a Near-Earth Asteroid due to its close distance of passing, it is not expected to actually impact the planet.
It belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids, which are Earth-crossing space rocks with semi-major axes larger than Earth’s. These asteroids are named after the humongous 1862 Apollo asteroid, discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in the 1930s.
How big is the asteroid?
NASA has not designated Asteroid 2019 KK5 as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid. Only celestial objects larger than 492 feet that pass Earth at a distance closer than 7.5 million kilometers are designated so, and Asteroid 2019 KK5 does not fulfill one of these requirements. In terms of size, Asteroid 2019 KK5 is almost 310 feet wide, making it almost as big as big building!
According to NASA, Asteroid 2019 KK5 first passed Earth on September 19, 1934, at a distance of 67 million kilometers. After today, it is not predicted to pass by the planet in the near future, as per NASA.