A NASA report has warned that at least five asteroids are approaching Earth this January — and one is the size of a large building.
The report was published by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)– a research development lab that is federally funded by NASA and managed by the California Institute of Technology.
JPL discovered the extraterrestrial objects through its Asteroid Watch dashboard, which detects and tracks asteroids and comets that are expected to come in close proximity with Earth.
Asteroids are rocky objects that orbit the Sun; they are smaller than a planet but larger than a meteoroid.
Asteroid 2021 YQ
The first of the five Asteroids NASA detected is named 2021 YQ.
The asteroid is about the size of a large commercial airliner (~200 feet) is expected to approach within 1,330,000 miles of Earth on January 5, 2022.
The last time 2021 YQ approached Earth's orbit was on December 7, 1902.
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Asteroid 2021 YX
Asteroid 2021 YX is also expected to approach Earth on January 5, 2022, though it will be a little further at 2,390,000 miles away.
This rock is about 100 feet wide — around the size of a slightly smaller commercial airplane.
This asteroid has never approached Earth before, according to JPL's records.
Asteroid 2014 YE15
This 24-foot wide rock is expected to approach Earth on January 6, 2022, and is about the size of a bus.
Asteroid 2014 YE15 is expected to be the furthest out, as its closest proximity to Earth will be around 4,600,000 miles away.
This is not the first time this asteroid has approached Earth, and will not be last, with NASA's records showing it has been returning almost annually since at least 1905.
It will next approach Earth in May 2022.
Asteroid 2020 AP1
Asteroid 2020 AP1 will come closest to Earth at about 1,080,000 miles away on January 7, 2022.
Though this asteroid will come nearest to Earth, it is thankfully the smallest at 13 feet wide (about the size of a car).
The last time 2020 AP1 approached Earth was in January 2020.
It is due to return in January 2024.
Asteroid 2013 YD48
NASA's report concludes with asteroid 2013 YD48, which is expected to approach Earth on January 11, 2022.
This massive rock is 340 feet tall (Big Ben is about 315 feet tall) and will come within 3,480,000 miles of Earth.
The last time this object approached Earth was in March 2014.
It is expected to orbit back around towards Earth in 2030.
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