These huge asteroids are set to pass by Earth this week

These huge asteroids are set to pass by Earth this week

Five asteroids, with one as large as a bus and another as large as an airplane, will pass by Earth within five days, NASA said.

The first asteroid, named 2021 JA5, will approach Earth within 3.2 million miles on Wednesday. According to NASA, the asteroid is about 59 feet long, or the size of a house.

On Thursday, two asteroids will swing by our planet. One is the asteroid 2023 QC5, which is about the size of an airplane at approximately 83 feet long and will come as close as 2.5 million miles to Earth.

The second asteroid is the 26-foot, or bus-sized, 2020 GE. Its closest approach to Earth is the farthest of the five asteroids at just over 3.5 million miles.

An illustration of an asteroid.
An illustration of an asteroid.

On Sunday, our planet will come close to two other asteroids. The 63-foot 2023 QF6 will come within 1.7 million miles from Earth, while the largest asteroid of the five, the 170-foot 2023 QE8, will have the closest approach of all five at just under 1 million miles from the planet’s surface.

People should not worry about these asteroids hitting Earth. However, they are considered "potentially hazardous" because the orbit comes within the minimum distance between Earth and the sun to meet the standard, according to NASA.


More than a handful of close approaches in September are being tracked by NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies (NEOS). NEOS uses computer modeling to determine asteroid and comet orbits and their chances of hitting Earth.

These are a few of several asteroids to fly by Earth this year. In June, asteroid 1994 XD swung by Earth at a distance of more than 1.9 million miles away. Estimated to be about 1,214 to 2,723 feet in diameter, it is larger than the asteroids listed here as it would tower above most skyscrapers in New York City.


According to NASA, asteroids are rocky, airless remnants left over from the early formation of our solar system. As of Wednesday, the number of known asteroids is more than 1.3 million.

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