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With the debris from the asteroid hidden inside the spacecraft, NASA fired its engines and began a long journey back to Earth on Monday, leaving ancient space rocks in the rearview mirror (May 1

0).

Domestic AP

The large asteroid is expected to whistling from Earth in a relatively close 4.5 million-mile encounter on Tuesday, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The asteroid known as 2021 KT1 is approximately 600 feet in size, the size of the New York Olympic Tower or the Seattle Space Needle.

NASA classifies the asteroid as a “potentially dangerous object” because it is larger than 492 feet and 4.6 million miles from Earth, it will fly close to Earth at a speed of 40,000 miles per hour, according to the lab, which tracks floating objects. Get close to the orbiting area of ​​the earth Although the asteroid is not expected to strike directly, NASA is monitoring it closely.

This asteroid is not the only one that comes close to Earth.The asteroid, called 2021 GW4, lies 12,000 miles from the Earth’s surface, traveling 18,700 mph in April. Astronomer Gianluca Masi, founder of the virtual telescope project, said: “It was an exceptionally close encounter.”

Four small asteroids the size of a plane or home are expected to pass through Earth from Monday to Wednesday. There is nothing that could be dangerous.

NASA defines the asteroid as “the remnants of the Solar System’s formation 4.6 billion years ago.” The matter in space should orbit the Sun. But sometimes it falls out of its orbital path due to the planet’s gravitational pull.

Scientists say the evolution of planets may be due to collisions of near-earth objects, including comets and asteroids. One such theory is the extinction of dinosaurs 66 million years ago.Objects that hit Earth could store ice in water or carbon-rich molecules needed for animals and plants to thrive and cause geological changes.

Although the Earth has not been affected as big by the asteroid in decades. But a small asteroid passes between Earth and its orbit several times every month, according to NASA Meteoroids Planetary Defense. Which is a piece of An asteroid less than three feet tall can stratify Earth’s atmosphere and explode, creating a brilliant meteor shower that people can watch from their terraces.

NASA is studying ways to divert from asteroids in the event of a big threat. One of these techniques, called gravity tractor, involves spacecraft that share gravitational forces from satellites to redirect asteroids. This method still works.

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