Asteroid the size of a school van ‘peels off’ on Earth


Asteroid, the size of a school van, passed “close” to Earth on Monday morning (12). Named 2021 GW4, the rocky body is about 4 meters in diameter, which makes it harmless, because, even if it were on a collision course with our planet, it certainly would not survive the entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

In its maximum approach movement, which occurred at about 10 am (Brasília time), the object was about 25.2 thousand kilometers from Earth, a relatively short distance when one takes into account that the Earth’s proximity to its nearest satellite, the Moon, is 384.4 mi kilometers.

This morning’s visit was the closest encounter between the asteroid and the Earth, at least until the next century according to NASA that previously calculated the object’s orbit, with a cycle of almost two years around the Sun.

The first observation of the 2021 GW4 was made last week (8), by scientists from the Mount Lemmon Survey, which is part of the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS), NASA’s monitoring program that has already identified more than 500 asteroids this year alone , according to the Center for the Study of Near-Earth Objects (NEO), NEO has already identified 25,500 asteroids close to Earth, most of them without any risk.


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