Asteroid the Size of Great Pyramid Will Pass Earth During November 2021's Beaver Full Moon

An asteroid with a diameter almost the height of the Great Pyramid of Giza will whip past Earth on November 19, the night of November's full moon.

The asteroid 2021 VR will have a diameter as large as 120 meters and when it passes our planet on the night of the Beaver Moon, it won't be coming alone. The asteroid will be accompanied by the more diminutive asteroid 2021 VJ11, which has a diameter of up to 41 meters, just over half the wingspan of a 747 jet.

However, on the night following this month's Beaver Moon (which takes its name from the fact that beavers begin to prepare for the winter in November) another asteroid will pass Earth that dwarfs both of these rock bodies.

The asteroid 2016 JG12 will move past Earth on Saturday and is up to 190 meters in diameter, larger than the Washington monument.

The asteroid 2021 VR will pass earth with a speed of around 30,000 miles per hour, almost fifteen times as fast as a bullet fired by a rifle.

Despite being smaller, its companion asteroid will be traveling slightly slower at just under 24,000 miles per second. This is still sixteen times as fast as a jet fighter.

Compared to these two asteroids the larger of the three, 2016 JG12, will be moving at the almost leisurely pace of just under 17,000 miles per hour, still sufficient enough to be 20 times more rapid than a bullet from a handgun.

The smaller of the three bodies, 2021 VJ11, will pass closest to Earth at a distance of around 1.6 million miles on its closest approach. The largest of the three bodies will be further out on its nearest approach, at around 3.4 million miles from Earth.

The Great Pyramid of Giza scale asteroid 2021 VR will be furthest from our planet at 3.7 million miles from Earth.

All three asteroids are classed as Near Earth Objects by NASA's Center for Near-Earth Objects (CNEOS) as their orbits of the sun bring them to within 120 million miles of Earth.

The fact that CNEOS tracks the orbits of asteroids around the sun precisely and projects them into the future, means that we know when these objects will next come close to Earth.

Asteroid 2021 VR will return to visit our planet first, making its next closest approach on 13 March 2022. After that, 2016 JG12 will be back in April of 2022.

For the smallest of the three bodies, however, this close approach to Earth will mark the last time for almost 120 years that it will come close to our planet.

The asteroid 2021 VJ11 won't come close to our planet again until at least April 2141, according to CNEOS, and even then it will only get as close as 45 million miles to our planet. This is just under half the average distance between the Earth and the sun.

CNEOS adds that none of these asteroids present an impact threat to Earth. NASA is currently preparing for such an eventually with the Double Asteroid Redirection Test, or DART, mission which will launch soon. Dart will test if an impact could redirect an asteroid on a collision course with our planet.

Three Asteroids Pass Earth
An illustration showing three asteroids as they pass Earth. On the evening of the Beaver Moon an asteroid the size of the Great Pyramid will pass Earth. Accompanying it will be an asteroid smaller than the wingspan of a 747. These will be followed on Saturday by an asteroid as large as the Washington Monument. dottedhippo/dzika_mrowka/Getty