- Asteroid 2006 QQ23 was last closest to Earth in September 2000
- It will fly past Earth next month without incident
- Apophis will come within 30,577 kms of Earth’s surface in 2029
This seem to be an asteroid season. After Asteroid 2006 QQ23 whizzed past Earth earlier this month without incident, a new asteroid is set to fly past our planet in September. Dubbed as Asteroid 2000 QW7, it will come as close as 5.3 million kilometres to Earth when it passes by the planet. The space rock is estimated to measure 650 metres in diameter, making it a little smaller than the Burj Khalifa (829 metres), the tallest building on Earth, and slightly taller than Shanghai Tower (632 metres).
According to a report by Fox News, the NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) states that Asteroid 2000 QW7 will zip past Earth on September 14. It will be travelling at a speed of 14,361mph (23,112kmph). As the asteroid is coming within 0.05 astronomical units of our planet, it is called a Near Earth Object (NEO).
According to data from NASA JPL, the last time Asteroid 2000 QW7 was close to Earth was September 1, 2000 and the next time it was fly past the planet will be October 19, 2038.
Another asteroid that has been in focus over the last few weeks is 99942 Apophis, named after the Egyptian god of chaos and darkness, and it was initially believed to be crashing into Earth in 2029, however, further observations have removed that possibility. Its diameter is estimated to be approximately 370 metres. It was last observed in 2015 and that data shows the April 12, 2068 impact probability is now 6.7 in a million (1 in 150,000), and the asteroid has a cumulative 9 in a million (1 in 110,000) chance of impacting Earth before 2106.