Two skyscrapper-size asteroids are projected to fly past our Earth on Friday and Saturday without any catastrophic incidents. According to NASA, the first asteroid is named 2016 CZ31 and the second space rock is named 2013 CU83. Asteroid 2016 CZ31 is estimated to come close to Earth around 7 p.m. ET (23:00 GMT) on Friday, July 29, and 2013 CU83 is projected to make a flyby at 7:37 p.m. ET (23:37 GMT) on Saturday, July 30, Livescience reports.
NASA’s Center for Near Earth Studies database noted that 2016 CZ31 which measures about 400 feet (122 meters) – as wide as the length of a 40-story building – will whiz past at a speed of around 34,560 mph (55,618 km/h). It will come as close as about 1,740,000 miles (2,800,000 kilometers) from Earth – more than seven times the distance between Earth and the moon. So there is no fear that it will collide with our world.
Asteroid 2013 CU83 on the other hand is larger than 2016 CZ31 at about 600 feet (183 meters) in breadth and will come close at about a distance of 4,320,000 miles (6,960,000 km) from Earth, or about 18 times the average distance between Earth and the moon. This massive space rock will zoom past at about 13,153 mph (21,168 km/h) – more than six times the speed of a rifle bullet or 17 times faster than the speed of sound.
On July 7, the asteroid 2022 NF came as close to about 56,000 miles (90,000 km) — or about 23% of the average distance between Earth and the moon. Asteroids pass by Earth every few years and the next time the 2016 CZ31 is estimated to pass close to our world is January 2028. These space rocks have little chance of hitting our Earth due to spatial gravity, but they could come closer to Earth in future courses when they are slightly knocked off their orbits.
In November 2021, NASA launched the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft with the aim of deflecting asteroids that are on a direct collision course with our world. The spacecraft may not necessarily destroy any targeted space rock, but it will knock it off its direct course with the Earth. According to NASA, there are more than 29,000 near-Earth objects that could slam into Earth, and many of these are asteroids that fly by about 30 million miles within our Earth’s orbit.