Three asteroids are expected to race past Earth today. One will cross as near as 310,000 miles (500,000 kilometers) — closer than any potential asteroid near-miss for the subsequent three months.
Asteroid 2019 QZ3 flew by at 6:49 a.m. ET; asteroid 2019 RG2 follows at around 3:13 p.m., and the third, asteroid 2019 QY4, runs past at 9:10 p.m. ET.
QZ3 is the most massive of the trio, with a diameter of 220 ft. (67 meters), while RG2 and QY4, respectively measure roughly 66 ft. (20 m) and 52 ft. (16 m) in length, in accordance with NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies.
Space rocks such as these, often called near-Earth objects, are touched by the gravity of neighboring planets into orbital routes that carry them near earth’s cosmic address. However, “close” in space is a relative term: At the closest level in their passage, all three of today’s asteroid will likely be faraway from Earth than the moon.
RG2 is the fastest asteroid, speeding by at a pace of almost 50,000 miles per hour (80,000 kilometers/hour), while QY4 is transferring at more than 17,000 mph (27,000 km/h). QZ3 is the slowpoke of the trio, at 16,700 mph (26,800 km/h). Although QZ3 is the largest asteroid, it is also the most distant one from Earth, at a distance of roughly 2.3 million miles from our planet,