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Asteroid To Fly By Earth On December 11 – Should We Worry?

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Asteroid 4660 Nereus, a space rock as big as the Eiffel Tower, will hit earth’s orbit on December 11, according to scientists.

Photo from Pixababy

The 1,083-foot asteroid first caught the attention of scientists in 1982 due to its extremely near proximity to earth. It is expected to fly past our planet at a distance of 3.93 million kilometers at 13:51 UTC (10:51 a.m.).

Photo from Pixababy

This will be the closest encounter it will have with earth in a decade. But fret not! Scientists say that we do not need to worry as the asteroid will fly by at a safe distance and will not hit us. 

Still, 4660 Nereus has been classified as a “potentially hazardous” piece of rock due to its size and proximity to earth. It is around 10 times the moon’s distance. 

Photo from Pixababy

Meanwhile, Asterank, a scientific and economic database of over 600,000 asteroids, disclosed that Nereus, which is made up of iron, nickel, and cobalt, is worth a whopping $4.71 billion.

It can be noted that NASA had already successfully launched its spacecraft to deflect an asteroid

Photo from Reuters (@Joe Skipper)

The agency launched its  first ever ‘Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission’, (a.k.a DART),  from a U.S. Space Force base in California on November 24, 2021 at 1:21 a.m. Eastern time. 

Photo from Pixababy

If the mission is successful, this will be a major milestone for humanity as this goes to show that we have the potential to slam into and redirect killer asteroids in the future. 

Photo from Pixababy

*Cover Photo/Thumbnail Photo from Pixababy

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