They have read well. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has reported the existence of an asteroid, which they have described as “potentially dangerous”, which is “close” to Earth. Does this mean we are in danger
Definitely not .
The Apollo NY, as they have baptized this asteroid, has been ruled out as a reason for the destruction of the human race. NASA has ruled out any possibility of a collision with our planet , since, as they have stated, it is estimated that it will pass 1,497,473 kilometers from Earth, a distance that is four times the interval that separates us from the Moon (384,400 km) . Even so, it is impossible to deny that it is one of the asteroids thatmore has come closer to orbit so far this year 2021.
In addition, another striking fact has been its enormous size, and that is, according to official NASA institutions, the Apollo 2021 NY would have a size between 100 and 300 meters in diameter .
What makes an asteroid classified as “potentially dangerous”
NASA is based on two fundamental criteria. First, its absolute magnitude (M) is taken into account , which, in this case, must be equal to or less than 22; Apollo NY has an absolute magnitude of 21.51 M, which has meant that, in a first study, it is considered a PHA (Potentially Hazardous Asteroid in English).
Second, the other variant is theminimum distance of intersection between the orbit of the object and that of the Earth , a concept that is defined as MOID. According to this category, all space bodies that are at a distance of less than 0.05 astronomical units (7,479,894 km) run the risk of being classified as potentially dangerous. As we said, this asteroid has positioned itself 1,497,473 kilometers from Earth, so its proximity is more than evident.
Why has it received the name of Apollo
There are, according to the official typology, three types of Near-Earth Asteroids: Apollo, Amor and Aton, which differ from each other by the type of orbits . In the case at hand, the Apollo asteroids describe an elliptical orbitwhose semi-major axis exceeds 1 astronomical unit, which is neither more nor less than the average distance between the Earth and the Sun.
This group of asteroids is named after its best-known member, Apollo, an object discovered in 1932 that was also classified as a potentially dangerous asteroid.
However, the NY Apollo has not been the first of 2021, since, months before, the PT Apollo had been detected, sighted for the first time on March 8 . The asteroid, classified as “potentially dangerous”, was the size of a skyscraper, with a diameter of between 175 and 240 meters , and traveled at a speed of about 7,000 kilometers per hour and at a distance of 4,908,499 kilometers from our planet.