A massive asteroid, larger than the Golden Gate Bridge and almost twice the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza, is expected to collide with Earth today. Based on data from the NASA Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the same asteroid flew near the planet for the third time in the last 20 years.
The asteroid named HP 2011 has an imposing maximum diameter of 230 meters, it is significantly higher than most famous landmarks such as the Washington Monument, which is only about 170 meters high.
According to CNEOS, the asteroid races to Earth at a speed of almost 29,000 miles an hour. Based on agency data, HP 2011 is expected to approach Earth at a distance of 0.031
NASA estimates the asteroid will fly past Earth at 6:48 am Eastern Time on May 30th.
Unlike other asteroids that pass the Earth only once per decade or century, 2011 HP is indeed a frequent visitor to the planet's environment. According to reports from CNEOS and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the arrival of the asteroid is the third time it has passed the Earth in the last two decades.
The last time HP approached the planet in 2011 was May 30, during which time the asteroid was about 0.03362 astronomical units from Earth or about 3.1 million miles away. Before that, it zipped past the earth on May 15, 2003. This time, with a distance of 0.1287 astronomical units, or about 11.9 million miles, it flew much further away from Earth.
Based on JPL's database, HP's next visit seems to be in 2011, according to the agency's information on the asteroid, which reaches to 2184. In 2011, HP will not fly as close to Earth as it does today. The only time it came close to Earth before today's visit was in 2011. This means that for the next 165 years, HP will not be on a collision course with Earth and the planet is relatively safe from the asteroid.
Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech