Asteroid 2015 DR215 LIVE – Fears asteroid could hit Earth as exact date revealed for next 'close' large asteroid TODAY

A HUGE asteroid made a "close approach" to Earth in the past hours and another one will swing very close to our planet this weekend.

Asteroid 2015 DR215 was expected by experts at Nasa to buzz past Earth in the early hours of Friday morning, with the agency's "close approach" chart listing the exact time as 6.40 UTC.

The asteroid stands out as one of the largest on the table, but another one is following close behind.

Asteroid 2022 ES3 will end up between the moon and Earth at around 2.18pm ET on Sunday, March 13, Newsweek reported.

The Virtual Telescope Project will host a livestream of the asteroid's "very close, but safe, encounter with us" on its WebTV page beginning at 18.30 UTC on Sunday.

Asteroid 2022 ES3 is smaller than Asteroid 2015 DR215, which, at up to 1,607 feet wide, is three times larger than the Great Pyramid in Egypt. An asteroid of this size would cause some serious damage if it hit Earth.

Read our Asteroid 2015 DR215 live blog for the latest news and updates…

  • Josie Rhodes Cook

    Another asteroid on the way

    Another asteroid will make a "close approach" to Earth this weekend.

    Asteroid 2022 ES3 will be traveling at 41,000 miles per hour when it flies between the moon and the Earth at around 2.18pm ET on Sunday, March 13, Newsweek reported.

  • Jennifer Korn

    Types of asteroids- M-types

    The M-types (nickel-iron): are made of metal. The compositional variations between asteroids are linked to how distant they originated from the Sun. After they formed and partially melted, some endured tremendous temperatures, with iron sinking to the center and driving basaltic (volcanic) lava to the surface.

  • Jennifer Korn

    Types of asteroids- S-types

    • The S-types (stony) asteroids are made up of nickel-iron silicate minerals.
    • Jennifer Korn

      Types of asteroids- C-Type

      C-Type (chondrite) are the most common asteroids. They are most likely made up of clay and silicate rocks and have a black look. They are among the solar system’s oldest ancient things.

    • Jennifer Korn

      Saving Earth from asteroids, continued

      Nasa said: "DART is the first-ever mission dedicated to investigating and demonstrating one method of asteroid deflection by changing an asteroid’s motion in space through kinetic impact."

      The DART craft should hit a small asteroid called Dimorphos in September with the ultimate aim of moving it off course.

    • Jennifer Korn

      Saving Earth from asteroids

      Some experts are worried that Earth isn't yet ready to defend itself from potentially deadly asteroids.

      SpaceX CEO Elon Musk once sparked concern when he tweeted: "a big rock will hit Earth eventually & we currently have no defense."

      Nasa is looking into having some defense methods set up, however.

      It recently launched its Double Asteroid Redirection Test mission.

    • Jennifer Korn

      If an asteroid hit the Earth, conclusion

      "So you burn things, kill everything in the ocean, and freeze the Earth, and it goes through about two years of constant winter," Scharringhausen added.

      He doesn't think that all life on Earth would die after a large asteroid impact, since some small creatures survived the asteroid strike that once killed the dinosaurs.

      Scharringhausen explained: "Not everything will die. If we’re thinking about people, the way to survive would be to get underground."

      "You could maybe ride it out in a bunker if you've got the supplies to make it through that period of winter where you can't grow any edible food."

      "Maybe the finicky crops that humans like to grow won't come through it so well, but there’s that seed repository, so if those are well-protected enough, you could get agriculture restarted."

    • Jennifer Korn

      What would happen if an asteroid hit Earth, continued

      Experts think we'd experience fires, shock waves, heat radiation, a large crater, acid rain and giant tsunamis if such an asteroid ended up hitting water.

      Britt Scharringhausen, an associate professor of physics and astronomy at Beloit College, told Inverse: "All of the ash from the fires and all of the finer-grain debris from the impact will hang out in the atmosphere for a long time, and we get what’s called an impact winter."

      "It’s going to block the sunlight, and all that ash falling into the ocean acidifies the top layers."

    • Jennifer Korn

      What would happen if an asteroid hit Earth?

      Depending on the size of the space rock, an asteroid impact on the Earth could be an extinction level event, and researchers have created simulations to see just how bad it could be.

      Not all asteroids would mean the end of humanity and, in fact, a space rock would have to be pretty large to kill us all.

      If an asteroid the size of the one that likely killed the dinosaurs hit Earth today, things would instantly change due to the force of the impact and its knock on effect on the environment.

    • Jennifer Korn

      Largest asteroids: Interamnia

      Interamnia has a diameter of 217.5 miles and circles the sun once every 1,950 days, or 5.34 years.

      Because of its distance from Earth, it is not believed feasible to investigate Interamnia.

    • Jennifer Korn

      Largest asteroids: Hygeia

      With a diameter of 270 miles, Hygiea is ranked fourth-largest.

      It is a large asteroid in the main belt, but due to its almost spherical form, it may soon be classified as a dwarf planet.

      It will be the tiniest dwarf planet in our solar system if it achieves this status.

      The asteroid was discovered in 1849 by astronomer Annibale de Gasparis.

      Hygiea’s orbit does not bring it close to Earth, hence it is not considered potentially dangerous.

    • Jennifer Korn

      Largest asteroids: Pallas

      Pallas was discovered in 1802 and named after the Greek goddess of wisdom.

      It has a diameter of around 318 miles and accounts for about 7 percent of the asteroid belt’s total mass.

      Pallas’ orbit, unlike those of other asteroids, is severely inclined at 34.8 degrees, making it difficult to analyze.

    • Jennifer Korn

      Largest asteroids: Vesta

      Vesta is the second-largest asteroid in the main asteroid belt and the biggest official asteroid.

      Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers discovered it in 1807.

      Vesta has a diameter of 329 miles and makes up nearly 9 percent of the total mass of all asteroids.

      Vesta, like Earth, is spherical and has three layers: crust, mantle, and core.

    • Jennifer Korn

      Largest asteroids: Ceres

      Ceres is the biggest asteroid in the belt between Mars and Jupiter and was the first found in 1801, even thought to be a planet at the time.

      In the 1850s, it was categorized as an asteroid, but in 2006, it was reclassified as a dwarf planet.

      While it is no longer classified as an asteroid, it claims the top rank with a diameter of 580 miles.

      Ceres is named after the Roman goddess of corn and harvests, and the term cereal comes from the same root.

      Ceres took 1,682 Earth days, or 4.6 years, to complete one round around the sun.

      Every nine hours, it completes one rotation around its axis.

    • Jennifer Korn

      Largest known asteroids

      The largest asteroids in our solar system are chunks of space debris that have shaped the space around them.

      This is a list of six of the largest known asteroids:

      • Ceres (583.7 miles/ 939.4 kilometers)
      • Vesta (326 miles/ 525 kilometers)
      • Pallas (318 miles/ 513 kilometers)
      • Hygiea (270 miles/ 444 kilometers)
      • Interamnia (196.7 miles/ 306 kilometers)
      • 52 Europa (188.9 miles/ 306 kilometers)
      • Jennifer Korn

        NEO mission

        Nasa is hoping to launch its Near-Earth Object (NEO) Surveyor mission in 2026.

        If the agency does so, it will finally have a spacecraft dedicated only to hunting asteroids.

        It’s hoped that the NEO Surveyor craft will find 90 percent of asteroids that are 460 feet or larger within the first decade of its mission.

      • Jennifer Korn

        What is a NEO?

        Nasa considers anything passing near Earth's orbit a Near-Earth Object (NEO).

        Thousands of NEOs are tracked by scientists to monitor whether they're on a collision course with our planet.

      • Jennifer Korn

        What are Trojan asteroids?

        These asteroids are in the same orbit as a bigger planet, but they don't crash because they congregate around two specific spots – L4 and L5 Lagrangian points – in the orbit.

        The Sun's and the planet's gravitational pulls are counterbalanced by a trojan's proclivity to fly out of orbit.

        The Jupiter trojans are the most numerous of the trojan asteroids.

        They are estimated to be as abundant as asteroids in the asteroid belt.

        There are trojans on Mars and Neptune, and in 2011, NASA reported the finding of an Earth trojan.

      • Jennifer Korn

        What is the Main Asteroid Belt?

        The bulk of known asteroids orbits between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt, with relatively short orbits.

        There are between 1.1 and 1.9million asteroids bigger than one kilometer (0.6 miles) in diameter in the belt, as well as millions of smaller ones.

        The gravity of freshly created Jupiter stopped the development of planetary bodies in this region early in the solar system’s existence, causing the tiny things to smash with one another, fragmenting them into the asteroids we see today.

      • Jennifer Korn

        Asteroids approaching: 2022 EZ1

        Amor-group Asteroid 2022 EZ1 flew near Earth around 4:30am on Sunday, after being studied for only four days before.

        The 51-foot object approached Earth from 4.55million miles away, and is set to orbit nearby again in 875 days.

      • Jennifer Korn

        Asteroids approaching: 2022 EM

        This giant Apollo-class asteroid approached Earth on Sunday morning around 9:00am, which is exactly what was predicted.

        2022 EM flew past Earth at a distance of 4.41million miles.

      • Jennifer Korn

        Asteroids approaching: 2022 DT3

        2022 DT3 flew past Earth on Saturday night around 9:30pm at almost 12 miles per second.

        The 71-foot long asteroid was about 2.33million miles away from Earth.

      • Jennifer Korn

        Asteroids approaching: 2022 DO1

        2022 DO1 approached Earth Saturday night around 9:40pm.

        The celestial object is about 48-feet in size, and it came within 1.57million miles of Earth.

      • Jennifer Korn

        Asteroids approaching: 2020 DC

        First observed on February 16, this small body is approximately 51 feet in size.

        On Sunday morning around 4:00am, the Apollo-class Asteroid approached the Earth as its orbit crosses the Earth's orbit, but it's not considered potentially hazardous.

        The house-sized body came 924,000 miles away from Earth.

      • Jennifer Korn

        What is considered a 'close approach'?

        If an asteroid comes within 4.65million miles of Earth and is over a certain size, it is considered "potentially hazardous" by cautious space agencies.

        Friday's upcoming large asteroid fits this description.

        The asteroid should shoot past from its safe distance at a speed of just under 19,000 miles per hour.

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