Two rare asteroids are set to pass by Earth within a 42-hour window this week. Despite being labeled as “potentially hazardous,” these space rocks are not an immediate threat, as they will safely fly by at high speeds.

Neither of the asteroids will be visible to the naked eye, but they can potentially be spotted using a telescope or binoculars. The Virtual Telescope Project will also be hosting livestreams for those interested in observing the event.

Asteroid (415029) 2011 UL21 is one of the largest asteroids to have recently passed near Earth. With an estimated diameter of approximately 1.4 miles, this mountain-sized asteroid falls into the category of “planet killers,” which are at least 1.2 miles wide. Luckily, it will remain at a safe distance of more than 4 million miles from Earth during its fly-by.

Asteroid 2024 MK, on the other hand, was only discovered earlier this month. It is much smaller than 2011 UL21, with an estimated diameter ranging from 390 to 885 feet. Despite its smaller size, it will pass by Earth at a remarkably close range of 184,000 miles, making it one of the brightest objects observed in recent history.

Potential Impact

While asteroids like 2011 UL21 and 2024 MK may be classified as “potentially hazardous,” the likelihood of either colliding with Earth is extremely low. These fly-bys serve as a reminder of the cosmic events that occur around our planet, but they do not pose any immediate danger to Earth.

The upcoming close encounters with Asteroid (415029) 2011 UL21 and Asteroid 2024 MK are exciting opportunities for astronomers and space enthusiasts to observe rare cosmic events. Despite their classification as “potentially hazardous,” both asteroids will pass by Earth safely, offering a glimpse into the wonders of our solar system.


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