Earth has become a war ground for asteroids these days. Earlier, we reported that a 55-feet wide asteroid, 2022 PA1, will be making its close approach to the Earth today and it will come dangerously close to us. And if the planet escapes its threat, then right behind is another larger asteroid which will be moving close to us tomorrow, August 11. According to NASA, this asteroid is 100-feet wide, which makes it almost twice as large as 2022 PA1. At this size, while it may not cause planet-wide destruction, it is enough to become a city-killer. Now, the question is what are the chances of it hitting our planet? Read on to find out.
The upcoming asteroid’s name is 2022 PK1, according to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a division of NASA. The closest the asteroid will come to the Earth will be 5.2 million kilometers. Although, this might seem like too large a distance for us to worry about, that is not the case. Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) has revealed that the space rock is moving at a mind-numbing speed of 33,012 kilometers per hour, which means it will only take 2022 PK1 a short period of time to close this distance if a last moment deviation took place. However, the prediction models state that the asteroid will not strike the planet and make a safe passage away from earth.
The asteroid was first observed on August 8 and so we do not have a lot of data on the asteroid and the uncertainty makes it slightly unpredictable. That is why it is important to monitor the asteroid till it passes our vicinity to ensure it never changes its trajectory. That is why the NASA branch called the Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) was created. Its sole purpose is to keep track of the 29,000 identified asteroids and to keep finding any new asteroids that can be risky for our planet in the future.
If the Earth survives this flyby of the asteroid, we will not see this space rock till August 2023. However, then it would pass us from a lot farther away and be no risk to us. In fact, the asteroid will not come this close to us till 2082.
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