New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) has detected a massive asteroid which will pass dangerously close to the Earth today. Asteroids which approach towards the Earth at a very close distance pose a threat due to the gravitational forces that attract them.

The asteroid -- labeled as 2019 MT2 -- was discovered on June 30. It has a maximum diameter of 102 feet and is currently at a speed of 11.04 km per second (approx 25,000 miles per hour).

NASA says 2019 MT2 is expected to zip past Earth on July 8 at 1:15 pm ST.

During its approach, its closest distance to Earth will be about 0.01118 astronomical units or roughly 1.6 million kilometres from the planet’s centre. Importantly, this is equivalent to about three times the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

Although Earth is safe from 2019 MT2 for now, there’s a chance this asteroid could hit the planet in the future due to its current path. As previous studies have shown, there are certain areas in space known as keyholes. These are areas that are affected by the gravitational pull of nearby planets and other large cosmic bodies. 

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta