30-Meter-Wide Asteroid 2011 ES4 Set to Buzz Past Earth This Week

A 30-meter-wide asteroid is set to buzz by Earth on Tuesday, according to NASA. And, by buzz by, we mean it could get within about 45,000 miles.

Asteroid approaching Earth.

Image via Getty/Stocktrek Images

Asteroid approaching Earth.

An asteroid is set to buzz by Earth but not kill everyone, according to NASA. As you may be aware this happens on occasion

The agency put out a tweet this past Friday stating that, on September 1, asteroid 2011 ES4 will miss Earth by 45,000 miles, which is close when you consider the universe is unfathomably massive. They also dumbed it down for stupid people (me) by putting it into the perspective of how many football fields it's going to miss us by: 

Will #asteroid 2011 ES4 hit Earth? 🌎 No! 2011 ES4’s close approach is “close” on an astronomical scale but poses no danger of actually hitting Earth. #PlanetaryDefense experts expect it to safely pass by at least 45,000 miles (792,000 football fields) away on Tuesday Sept. 1.

— NASA Asteroid Watch (@AsteroidWatch) August 28, 2020

Forbes writes that the nearly 30-meter-wide asteroid is roughly the same size as the one that bursted over Russia in 2013, busting out thousands of windows and injuring hundreds after doing so.

Pointing out that people will not end up like the dinosaurs, at least for the moment, astronomer Dr. Tony Phillips said “On Sept. 1st, asteroid 2011 ES4 will fly through the Earth-Moon system only 72,000 miles from Earth—close, but there is no danger of a collision.” Note that, even if you did click that link and saw that Phillips wrote about a collector's item Captain Kirk bobblehead just four paragraphs afterward, he's a professional who knows what he's talking about. 

At the moment there is uncertainty over the incoming asteroid's size and orbit. This is irrelevant in the short term but, in the bigger picture, may determine whether it will strike our planet at some point in the future. 

Also in the short term, the bigger concern for earth inhabitants may be the asteroid that has a 0.41 percent chance of hitting the U.S. on November 2, the day before the presidential election.

However that asteroid is about NBA forward sized, 6.5 feet, and probably won't cause too big of an impact. Feel free to disregard it but, whatever, you've been warned:

There is an asteroid with a .41% chance of hitting Earth on Election Day. That is a significant chance. Vote early just in case!

— altNOAA (@altNOAA) August 30, 2020

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