Earlier today, a newly discovered asteroid had passed our planet, proving to be its closest approach to Earth so far. The space rock, known as the 2019 ES Asteroid, was less than 2.1 million kilometers from Earth, or nearly nine times as far as our planet was from the Moon.
According to asteroid trackers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California's Pasadena Asteroid 2019 ES, the earth murmured early in the morning and shot past our planet at 2:44 pm EST (EST).
At the moment of his approach, the space rock reached brute speeds of 15,680 miles per hour. This means that the asteroid drove through space during its flyby from Earth at more than 20 times the speed of sound.
Asteroid 2019 ES was discovered just two weeks ago. The space rock was first discovered by astronomers on March 4 and monitored by asteroid trackers for five days. After a thorough look at the orbit and trajectory, the JPL specialists announced that the Asteroid 2019 ES will be on 16 March as a so-called "Close Earth Approach".
Monday NASA Found Asteroid (2019 ES), Today It Skims By Earth https://t.co/N0H1zy83Z0 pic.twitter.com/KQx5BodLFB
– US Tribune News (@USTribuneNews) March 16, 2019
The asteroid is not particularly large and was estimated to measure only between 78.7 feet and 173.8 feet in diameter. Given its size range, the 2019 ES asteroid fades in comparison to the 390-foot space rock, as it passes on a short visit on Monday, as The Inquisitr .
The Space Rock was relatively poor and so large that it could be examined by JPL.
"At the top end of the size estimate, the asteroid is about 6.3 times as long as a London double-decker bus," said the British media outlet The Express .
"Even if the asteroid turns out to be smaller, it's still bigger than 12 twin-size beds set up in a row."
The JPL data showed this asteroid 2019 ES approached only within 0.0231 astronomical units (AU) of Earth. Since an AU represents the average distance between the Earth and the Sun, and equates to 93 million miles, the space rock missed our planet by 2.14 million miles.
This is 8.99 times the distance between Earth and Moon, also called Moon distance (LD).
In the past, the asteroid has gone through our corner of the solar system two more times. The first time was half a century ago, in 1970, when it only hit 8.8 million kilometers around the Earth (0.0959 AU, 37.3 LD).
The following visit came 44 years later, 2014. At that time, asteroid 2019 ES approached Earth from a distance of Earth and came at a distance of 43.4 million kilometers from our planet (0.4676 AU, 182.1 LD ). This means that today's flyby has been the closest.
The space rock is not expected to swing through the earth soon. In 2028, the asteroid will pay a short visit to our planetary neighbor, Mars, 3.8 million kilometers from the red planet.