A Giant Asteroid is About to Zip Past Earth

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On November 20th, an asteroid, known as 2006 SF6, will pass frighteningly close to Earth at only 0.02886 astronomical units (about 2.9% the distance between us and the sun) which is around 2.7 million miles from Earth. That is about 10x the distance from the Earth to the Moon.

It will be at its closest point to us at around 7PM EST.

While there are closer asteroids and this is , this one is much larger at around 2,000 feet in diameter. Of all the NEOs (Near Earth Objects) that are currently being watched by NASA, it is the largest by far. To put it in comparison, that’s wider than Freedom Tower is tall.

How big is that?

The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, known as the Chicxulub impact was 7 to 50 miles in diameter and it caused profound damage worldwide, acidifying the oceans in a flash but providing the environment for mammals to thrive.

The Eltanin impact which happened during the Pliocene-Pleistocene boundary and caused the shift is thought to have been about the size of 2006 SF6. That impact landed somewhere in the South Pacific Ocean below Chile. That impact caused a 35 mile wide crater in the ocean floor, causing a massive worldwide tsunami with waves up to 660 feet tall at points.

Should we worry?

We have nothing to worry about on this one, according to NASA. NASA watches NEOs continuously and keeps track of them on their website. In fact, a very small NEO is passing even closer to the earth tonight but it’s a measly 60 meters across, much more like the Tunguska event object.

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