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5 asteroids, including 2 the size of an airplane, are zooming close to Earth this week

Five asteroids, one as large as a house and two each the size of an airplane, will fly past Earth between Sept. 6 and Sept. 12, according to NASA’s Asteroid Watch dashboard.

The house-sized asteroid, called JA5, will be the first to approach, passing by the planet on Sept. 6. It will pass within 3.17 million miles of Earth, and was first observed in 2021. According to NASA, the asteroid is about 59 feet in size, hence its comparison to a house.

Two asteroids will go past Earth on Sept. 8. One, called QC5, has been compared to a plane and will be about 79 feet in size, and the other, named GE, is about the size of a bus, measuring in at approximately 26 feet in size. The airplane-sized asteroid was first observed in 2023, and will be within 2.53 million miles of Earth. The second asteroid was first observed in 2020, and will pass within 3,560,000 miles of the planet.

The second airplane-sized asteroid, QF6, was discovered in 2023 and measures about 68 feet in size. It will pass Earth on Sept. 10. This one will come the closest to the planet, traveling about 1.65 million miles from Earth.

The final expected asteroid will also be the size of a bus and fly by Earth on Sept. 12. This asteroid, measuring about 25 feet in size, was first discovered in 2020 and was named RT2. This week, it will be about 2,620,000 miles from Earth.

None of the asteroids are expected to pose any threat. Objects are deemed “potentially hazardous” when they are coming within 4.6 million miles, which all of these asteroids are, but they also must be more than about 490 feet in size. None of the asteroids expected this week are anywhere near that large.

The Asteroid Watch dashboard tracks asteroids and comets that will make “relatively close approaches to Earth,” according to NASA. NASA also operates an “Eyes on Asteroids” webpage which can be used to see asteroids and comets around the galaxy in real-time, thanks to an interactive visualization based on data from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies.

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