Following the safe passage of Asteroid F032 just a couple days ago, we're due for a few more to come our way. As reported on Space.com, not one but three small asteroids will pass through a trajectory putting them closer to Earth than our moon.
The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Small-Body Database Browser, a database of all known small worlds in our solar system, has released information about its orbit online. The Minor Planet Center of the International Astronomical Union has sent out a circular to the group with observations from astronomers all over the world, as well as modified orbital elements.
The biggest of the three space rocks, a house-sized asteroid will fly to Earth at 12:52 am EDT (23:52 EWT). The asteroid's diameter is estimated to be between 39 and 89 feet (12 and 27 meters), or around the length of a semi-truck, according to NASA.
Another asteroid, 2021 FP2, is scheduled to make a near flyby of Earth tonight at 6:35 p.m. EDT, coming within 200,780 miles (323,120 km) of our planet — only a little farther than 2021 FO1. There are around a dozen more near-Earth asteroids that will pass by our planet this week, according to NASA's Minor Planet Center, but none will be closer than the moon.
Via telescopic observations, NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office and a number of collaborators around the world keep track of small asteroids, and no imminent problems have yet been identified amid decades of observations by scientists. The mysterious Apophis asteroid passed by our planet earlier this month, but scientists have ruled out any danger from Apophis in 2029.
Image Credit: NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory