Asteroids have been responsible for some of the biggest catastrophic events in history and this includes, the Chelyabinsk disaster that claimed many lives to the one which caused the extinction of dinosaurs millions of years ago, NASA said. The Planetary Defense Coordination Office is responsible for monitoring the skies and keeping a watch on various Near-Earth Objects (NEOs). If any NEO comes within 8 million kilometers of Earth, the organization red flags the NEO and issues an alert. The organization has been alerted that a colossal asteroid just flew past Earth today.
Asteroid 2022 QM6 just flew past Earth during today’s early hours. The asteroid was colossal with its size ranging anywhere between 167 feet and 377 feet, making it one of the largest asteroids to fly by Earth this month! The potential for destruction by a rock this size can be imagined! However, Asteroid 2022 QM6 just missed the planet at a distance of 7.5 million kilometers travelling at a speed of approximately 14940 kilometers per hour. One astonishing fact about this asteroid is that it had made another close trip to Earth earlier this year! The asteroid 2022 QM6 flew closely past Earth on June 17 this year.
This asteroid had huge destructive potential due to its sheer size and speed and could have potentially caused mass destruction if it deviated slightly from its path and crashed on Earth. According to the-sky.org, the Asteroid 2022 QM6 is a bit different from other asteroids as it does not belong to the usual Apollo group where most asteroids come from but the Aten group. It was discovered recently on August 26 this year. This asteroid takes just 303 days to complete one trip around the Sun during which its maximum distance from the Sun is 155 million kilometers and nearest distance is 109 million kilometers.
NASA has established a Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO), managed in the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The PDCO ensures the early detection of potentially hazardous objects (PHOs) - asteroids and comets whose orbits are predicted to bring them within 0.05 Astronomical Units of Earth (5 million miles or 8 million kilometers) and of a size large enough to reach Earth's surface - that is, greater than approximately 30 to 50 meters.
NASA tracks and characterizes these objects and issues warnings about potential impacts, providing timely and accurate information. NASA also leads the coordination of U.S. Government planning for response to an actual impact threat.
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