Asteroid news: NASA tracking space rock pair on near-Earth approach

ASTEROID trackers at US space agency NASA have announced a brace of rogue space rocks are about to safely skim past our planet.

PUBLISHED: 18:20, Sat, Sep 19, 2020 | UPDATED: 18:31, Sat, Sep 19, 2020

Two asteroids will today make what is known as a near-Earth approach. And asteroid experts at NASA have revealed some surprising statistics about 2020 RH6 and 2020 RQ3.

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2020 RH6 is the first of the pair to make what is technically known as a “close approach”.

This will see the asteroid come within 0.03174 Astronomical Units (AU) (2,950,417 miles) of our planet.

And although this may at first glance appear a huge distance, this is actually relatively close, given the infinite scale of space.

NASA’s NEO Earth Close Approach site also estimates asteroid 2020 RH6 is barrelling through space at 8.32km/s (18,611mph).

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Asteroid news: NASA is tracking a pair of space rocks on near-Earth approachAsteroid news: NASA is tracking a pair of space rocks on a near-Earth approach (Image: Getty)

Asteroid news: difference between asteroid and cometsAsteroid news: 2020 RH6 is the first of the pair to make what is technically known as a “close approach” (Image: Express)

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And the space rock may be up to 200ft (60m) in size, which is big enough to cause significant damage, were it to slam into a city - which it is certainly not about to do.

The second space rock is arguably of even more interest, as it is set to make an even closer approach than RH6.

At its closest, asteroid 2020 RQ3 is going to get approximately twice as close as its predecessor - 0.01586 AU (1,474,279 miles).

The asteroid is 147ft (54m) in diameter and hurtling through space at far faster speeds - 25.42km/s (56,862mph).

Asteroid news: What is a close approachAsteroid news: NASA estimates asteroid 2020 RH6 is barrelling through space at 8.32 km/s (Image: Express)

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