The four asteroids will close in on Earth’s location tomorrow (Tuesday, November 12). NASA expects the asteroids to arrive within hours of one another, starting at 4.54am GMT. The fastest of the asteroids will approach Earth at speeds of more than 43,000mph.
What do we know about the asteroids approaching Earth tomorrow?
NASA has dubbed the four speedy rocks Near-Earth Objects or NEO asteroids.
According to NASA, NEOs are all comets and asteroids that orbit the Sun from a distance of 1.3 astronomical units (au).
NASA said: “Some asteroids and comets follow orbital paths that take them much closer to the Sun and therefore Earth – than usual.
“If a comet’s or asteroid’s approach brings it to within 1.3 astronomical units of the Sun, we call it a Near-Earth object.”
NASA keeps a watchful eye on these space rocks to evaluate their potential for impact.
Asteroid 2019 VW1
The first object to approach Earth on Tuesday is the near-Earth asteroid 2019 VW1.
NASA first tracked the rocky body on October 8 this year.
The asteroid is estimated to measure somewhere in the range of 62.3ft to 144.3ft (19m to 44m) across.
NASA further estimates the asteroid is flying through space at speeds of around 8.49km per second or 18,991mph (30,564kph).
At its closest, the asteroid will arrive in Earth’s corner of space around 4.54am GMT.
Asteroid 2019 VK3
The next asteroid to approach Earth is the NEO 2019 VK3.Based on NASA’s observations made since November 2, VK3 is an Apollo-type asteroid.
Apollo-type rocks cross Earth’s orbit on trajectories similar to that of 1862 Apollo.
The asteroid measures in the range of 62.3ft to 141ft (19m to 43m) in diameter.
The asteroid is also the fastest of the swarm at about 19.52km per second or 43,664mph (70,272kph).
Astroid VK3 will appear tomorrow around 6.28am GMT.
Asteroid 2019 VN2
Around 12.36pm GMT, the asteroid 2019 VN2 will make its appearance.
The rock is flying towards our planet at speeds of around 3.77km per second or 8,433mph (13,572kph).
NASA estimates the rock measures in the range of 36ft to 78.7ft (11m to 24m) across.
The space agency first tracked the asteroid on November 4 this year.
Asteroid VN2 is an Amor-type rock, meaning it has an orbit similar to that of 1221 Amor.
Asteroid 2019 UB14
The fourth asteroid to approach Earth tomorrow will make the closest approach of the four.
Astronomers have dubbed the object 2019 UB14 after its discovery this year.
The object is estimated to measure in the range of 55.7ft to 124.6ft (17m to 38m) across.
NASA expects the asteroid to appear close to Earth around 8.36pm GMT.
The asteroid is flying through space at speeds of about 15.44km per second or 34,538mph (55,584kph).
Will any of the asteroids come close enough to strike Earth?
Asteroid UB14 will make the closest approach to Earth tomorrow but, thankfully, the space rock will not hit.
At its closest, the asteroid will approach our home planet from a distance of more than 1.16 million miles (1.87 million km).
NASA said: “As they orbit the Sun, Near-Earth Objects can occasionally approach close to Earth.
“Note that a ‘close’ passage astronomically can be very far away in human terms: millions or even tens of millions of kilometres.”