The size of the Eiffel Tower, a "potentially dangerous" asteroid heading towards Earth

The size of the Eiffel Tower, a “potentially dangerous” asteroid heading towards Earth

https://fr.sputniknews.com/20211205/de-la-taille-de-la-tour-eiffel-un-asteroide-potentiellement-dangereux-se-dirige-vers-la-terre-1053797480.html

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Sputnik France

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+74956456601

MIA “Rosiya Segodnya”

NASA, Earth, Asteroid

NASA has announced that an asteroid will enter Earth’s orbit on December 11, its closest to the blue planet in 20 years.

About the size of the Eiffel Tower, asteroid 4660 Nereus is classified as a unique and “potentially hazardous” piece of rock due to its proximity to Earth.

Thus, the 330-meter oval asteroid is expected to approach within 2.5 million kilometers of Earth within a week, according to scientists who have followed it since its discovery in 1982.

While this distance seems incredibly far away, in fact, it is about ten times farther from the Moon, it is considered close by cosmic standards, making 4,660 Nereus a near-Earth object. NASA classifies any asteroid or comet about 30 million km from Earth’s orbit as a Near-Earth Object.

space mission target

According to a Forbes analysis, Nereus has been shown several times as a target for a space mission, as the egg’s shape, size and orbital path around the Sun make it an ideal asteroid to visit.

In addition, Nereus has an estimated value of $4.71 billion, according to Asterank, a database that monitors more than 600,000 asteroids.

Thus, Nereus will contain billions of dollars in nickel, iron and cobalt, making it one of the most profitable asteroids to exploit its mineral resources.

In fact, asteroid mining started gaining popularity in the early 2010s, however, the new space age with big players like Blue Origin and SpaceX might push it to start again from Nereus.

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Also, it would take about a year for a robotic spacecraft to orbit Nereus, according to Forbes.

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