August’s asteroid activity is not over yet: According to NASA data, another “potentially hazardous” space rock about the size of the Washington Monument will fly by Earth at the end of the month.
On Aug. 28, asteroid 2019 OU1 will safely cruise by our planet and will come within 639,000 miles of Earth, Fox News reported. The giant space rock, which has an estimated diameter of 71 to 160 meters, has been compared to the famous Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., which is 555 feet tall. According to NASA data, 2019 OU1 is traveling through space at approximately 42,650 feet per second.
Asteroid 2019 OU1 is classified as a near-Earth Object (NEO), which is an asteroid or a comet that has been prodded by the gravitational attraction of nearby planets into orbits that enable them to fly by Earth. NEOs that are “potentially hazardous” are space objects that measure more than 460 feet in diameter and come within 0.05 astronomical units of our planet. Last year, NASA published a 20-page plan that outlined the steps the U.S. should take in order to be better prepared for NEOs that might strike Earth.
It’s rare, but sometimes an asteroid and Earth can find themselves in the same place at the same time, resulting in a collision. Here are 10 things to know about @NASA’s #PlanetaryDefense efforts: https://t.co/IX1aYM4220 pic.twitter.com/K6Dfct325G
— NASA Solar System (@NASASolarSystem) April 29, 2019
On Aug. 10, an asteroid larger than the Empire State Building zoomed by Earth at a speed of 10,400 mph. Asteroid 2006 QQ23, which missed our planet by 4.6 million miles, could have crashed into Earth if it was following a different trajectory, NBC News noted.
NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) will keep monitoring asteroid 2019 OU1, asteroid 2006 QQ23, and other “potentially hazardous” space rocks and track their orbits over the next few years.