Digital Desk, New Delhi. A large asteroid is expected to pass close to Earth on July 25 at around 3 am. The name of this asteroid is ‘2008 GO20’. It is bigger than a football field whose length is close to 200 meters. According to NASA’s estimates, it will pass near the Earth at a speed of 8.2 km per second and will be about three to four million kilometers from our planet. This is about eight to nine times the distance between the Earth and the Moon.
Earlier this asteroid had passed close to Earth on 20 June 2008. It is also expected to pass close to Earth on 25 July 2034. 2008 GO20 is classified as an Apollo NEO. Apollos have an orbit near our Earth and when they cross the Earth’s orbit they are also called Earth-crossers. They are named after the Apollo asteroid of 1862.
What is NEO?
According to NASA, NEOs are asteroids and comets that come close to Earth. Most of these are NEO asteroids and are called Near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs). The NEAs are further divided into Attira, Aten, Apollo and Amor based on their distance and access.
Near-Earth asteroids that fly below 0.05 astronomical units or 7.5 million km away are called Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHA). Since the 2008 GO20 asteroid passed a distance of 0.02 to 0.03 a.u., it is a PHA. An astronomical unit is approximately 150 million km, or approximately the distance between the Earth and the Sun.