Web Desk: Space rock 2002 AJ129 will make a nearby way to deal with Earth on February 4, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. PST (4:30 p.m. EST/21:30 UTC). At the season of nearest approach, the space rock will be no nearer than 10 times the separation amongst Earth and the Moon (around 2.6 million miles, or 4.2 million kilometers).
2002 AJ129 is a moderate estimated close Earth space rock, somewhere close to 0.3 miles (0.5 kilometers) and 0.75 miles (1.2 kilometers) over. It was found on Jan. 15, 2002, by the previous NASA-supported Near Earth Asteroid Tracking venture at the Maui Space Surveillance Site on Haleakala, Hawaii. The space rock’s speed at the season of nearest approach, 76,000 mph (34 kilometers for each second), is higher than the larger part of close Earth objects amid an Earth flyby. The high flyby speed is a consequence of the space rock’s circle, which approaches near the Sun — 11 million miles (18 million kilometers). Albeit space rock 2002 AJ129 is classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA), it doesn’t represent a real danger of crashing into our planet for a long time to come.
“We have been following this space rock for more than 14 years and know its circle precisely,” said Paul Chodas, chief of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. “Our figurings show that space rock 2002 AJ129 has no way — zero — of slamming into Earth on Feb. 4 or whenever throughout the following 100 years.”
JPL has the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies for NASA’s Near-Earth Object Observations Program, a component of the Planetary Defense Coordination Office inside the office’s Science Mission Directorate.