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Five Asteroids Making Close Approaches To Earth This Week, NASA Says



Courtesy of NASA
Five asteroids are making close approaches to Earth this week, ranging from the size of a bus to the size of a commercial jet, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology.
JPL’s Asteroid Watch dashboard tracks asteroids and comets making relatively close approaches to Earth, within about 4.6 million miles. For comparison, the distance between the Earth and the moon averages about 239,000 miles.
According to JPL, any object that can approach within 4.6 million miles and is larger than 150 meters, or 492 feet, across is termed a potentially hazardous object.
All but one of the asteroids passing by this week have flown past Earth before, and will likely do so again, if they continue following their orbits, according to NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies.
The newcomer, object 2023 QF6, is about 68 feet long and will come within 1.65 million miles of Earth on Sept. 10.
Before that, object 2021 JA5, measuring 59 feet, will pass within 3.17 million miles on Sept. 6. On Sept. 8, 83-foot object 2023 QC5 will pass within 2.53 million miles, and 26-foot object 2020 GE will pass within 3.56 million miles.
The largest object, the 170-foot 2023 QE8, will also make the closest approach, within 946,000 miles of Earth on Sept. 10.
According to NASA, most asteroids orbit within the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, but some enter the inner solar system, such as near-Earth asteroids, and others orbit outside Neptune.
Near-Earth Objects, or NEOs, including asteroids and comets, are monitored by NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office, with the aim of preventing a catastrophic impact with Earth.
TMX contributed to this article.