Washington – NASA’s asteroid tracking system on Tuesday confirmed that several asteroids zooming towards planet Earth at breakneck speed could make close approaches to earth on Nov. 12.
The asteroids were estimated to arrive within hours of one another, starting at 4.54 a.m. GMT.
According to NASA’s Centre for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the first asteroid that will approach earth is called 2019 VW1, travelling at a speed of about 19,000 miles per hour, and estimated to be about 44 meters wide.
The second asteroid to zoom in on Earth on Tuesday is identified as 2019 VK3 and has a diameter of 43 meters.
Trailing behind 2019 VK3 is 2019 VN2, which is only about 24 meters wide.
The fourth asteroid is called 2019 UB14 and is estimated to be about 38 meters wide.
The agency noted that it is currently moving towards Earth at a speed of 35,000 miles per hour.
NASA has dubbed the speedy rocks Near-Earth Objects (NEO) asteroids, which are comets and asteroids that orbit the Sun from a distance of 1.3 astronomical units.
As NASA keeps a watchful eye on these space rocks to evaluate their potential for impact, according to a 2018 report put together by Planetary.org, there are more than 18,000 NEOs.
According to NASA potentially hazardous NEOs are defined as space objects that come within 0.05 astronomical units and measure more than 460 feet in diameter.
NASA has been reportedly preparing for planetary defense from asteroid strikes for years.
A June AP-NORC poll found out that Americans prefer that the space agency focuses on tracking potential asteroid threats rather than sending humans back to the Moon or to Mars.
In June 2018, the space agency unveiled a 20-page plan that detailed the steps the U.S. should take to be better prepared for NEOs .
Separately in April, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said that an asteroid strike is not something to be taken lightly and is perhaps Earth’s biggest threat.