120-foot asteroid 2023 JS4 rushing towards Earth, NASA's NEOWISE spacecraft warns
A 120-foot asteroid is on its way to make a close approach to Earth. Here’s what NASA said.
NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) is responsible for monitoring all known near-Earth objects (NEOs) and assessing their potential risk of impact. Scientists actively scan the skies with the latest technological instruments including telescopes, ground-based observatories and satellites to identify any unknown asteroids that may pose a collision risk. To detect such dangers, NASA has implemented the NEO Observations Program, which focuses on discovering, tracking, and characterizing NEOs, specifically those that could potentially endanger Earth. NASA has deployed the NEOWISE spacecraft to locate these potential threats from asteroids.
NASA's WISE (Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer) spacecraft was an infrared-wavelength astronomical space telescope. In 2013 the spacecraft was assigned a new mission as NEOWISE to help find near-Earth asteroids and comets.
Now, NASA has issued an alert regarding a massive asteroid named 2023 JS4, which is currently on its way to Earth and is anticipated to pass in close proximity. With an estimated size of 120-foot, this asteroid is scheduled to approach Earth today, May 18. NASA will closely monitor the situation to determine if there is any potential risk posed by the 120-foot-wide asteroid 2023 JS4.
Asteroid 2023 JS4 terror
As per NASA's asteroid data tracking page, Asteroid 2023 JS4 is set to make a close approach to Earth today, May 18, at a distance of merely 3.86 million miles, while hurtling through space at a rapid speed of 49682 kilometres per hour. This asteroid, classified under the Apollo group, was discovered quite recently on May 14, 2023. The-Sky.org reveals that it completes a full orbit around the Sun approximately every 1473 days.
Whenever a Near-Earth Object (NEO) approaches within 4.6 million miles or 7.5 million kilometres that is larger than about 150 meters, NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office issues a warning. Thankfully, this asteroid is not a potential threat but close watch on this swiftly coming space rock is vital to avoid any mishap.
Do asteroids hit the planets?
Yes, they do! Asteroids occasionally collide with other celestial bodies in space, such as planets and moons, with potentially devastating consequences. A notable example is the devastating event that occurred 65 million years ago, resulting in the demise of the dinosaurs on Earth. Several theories suggest that the impact of an asteroid released an immense amount of energy, causing widespread environmental changes that ultimately led to the extinction of dinosaurs and numerous other species. To mitigate the risk of such catastrophic events, NASA and other space agencies maintain continuous surveillance of potential asteroid threats. Not just that, Hubble Space Telescope snapped Jupiter after it was impacted by Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 in 1994- left Earth-sized holes in the planet.
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