Five Asteroids Make Close Approach to Earth

Asteroid flying by Earth | Image by Triff, Shutterstock

Several large asteroids will be making relatively close approaches to Earth over the next few days.

NASA identified five asteroids that will make approaches to the planet between May 17 and 20. Each of these celestial bodies ranges between the size of a bus and the size of a house.

Three of these objects are among 30,000 registered objects that could pose a risk to the planet over the next century, according to Phys.org.

The first three of the five objects made their appearance on May 17.

The first of these objects is known as 2023 JS1, a bus-sized object approximately 39 feet in diameter. This asteroid will make its closest approach to the planet at 1,350,000 miles away — the closest that any of the objects will pass.

The next object to pass by the planet is 2023 JS2, which is approximately 30 feet in size. This object will make its closest approach to the earth about 1,650,000 miles away.

The last of these three is known as 2023 JC3, a house-sized object approximately 63 feet in diameter, which will pass 3,060,000 miles away — the farthest of any of the objects.

NASA expects the next asteroid, an 83-foot airplane-sized asteroid known as 2023 JW3, will pass 2,010,000 miles away from Earth on May 18.

The final asteroid will pass the planet on May 20. The bus-sized 23-foot diameter object is known as 2023 HG11 and will pass within 2,820,000 miles of Earth.

While NASA has issued an advisory for these approaches, it appears that they should provide little concern for life on Earth.

The agency tracks objects that will pass within 4.6 million miles of the planet — 19.5 times the distance to the moon. According to NASA, an object would have to be over half a mile in size before its impact would have worldwide effects.

The largest known near-Earth object is an asteroid called Toutatis which is over 3.3 miles in diameter.

For the sake of comparison, there are asteroids in the belt between Mars in Jupiter that can be as big as 583 miles across. Fear not, however, as NASA says that these asteroids do not pose a threat to the planet.

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