250-foot asteroid whizzing towards Earth today at 29381 kmph, NASA warns

A giant 250-foot asteroid is set to make a close approach to Earth today.

| Updated on: Apr 16 2023, 14:04 IST
NASA: DART Mission set to DEFLECT giant asteroid
1/5 Apocalyptic movies like Deep Impact, Armageddon and Don't Look Up have always explored the ‘What Ifs’ of world destruction. Now, NASA is set to defend the planet against a very similar threat that is posed by asteroids. (Pixabay)
DART mission
2/5 The DART mission will cost a staggering $240 million. The aim of the mission is to smash a spacecraft into the Dimorphos asteroid to deflect it away from its path. While this asteroid in no way threatens Earth, the NASA asteroid mission is to carry out an experiment to gain greater knowledge as to what happens when a craft is crashed against a space rock. This knowledge will be used if an actual asteroid threatens to crash against the Earth. It will help avert an Armageddon on Earth and perhaps, even save humanity from extinction. (NASA)
Asteroid and Earth
3/5 According to Financial Times, chief scientist at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory, Andy Cheng, came up with the DART concept along with a senior researcher. Dr. Cheng said, “It feels very exciting — like a dream come true — for something we’ve been thinking about for 20 years to be actually happening." (Pixabay)
4/5 The DART mission has already sent the main spacecraft to space in November, 2021. It includes a satellite made by the Italian Space Agency. Another spacecraft is set to launch by 2026, to measure the impact. (NASA)
5/5 NASA said, "DART is the first-ever mission dedicated to investigating and demonstrating one method of asteroid deflection by changing an asteroid’s motion in space through kinetic impact." (Pixabay)
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NASA has warned about a giant potentially hazardous asteroid that is speeding at a fiery speed towards Earth. (Pixabay)

An asteroid strike has always been one of the scariest nightmares for Earthlings! You must have heard about the Chicxulub impact around 65 million years ago, which is believed to have caused mass extinctions, including that of the dinosaurs. Apart from this, in 1908, an asteroid entered the atmosphere and struck over Siberia. This is known as the Tunguska Event, which resulted in a shockwave that flattened around 80 million trees. If such an asteroid were to strike Earth today and that too in a crowded city, it would be of tragic and catastrophic nature for humanity! To know the danger in advance, NASA and other space agencies have been tracking these hazardous asteroids that stray very close to Earth.

NASA has now issued an alert against a giant asteroid 2020 BV14 that is expected to make its closest approach to Earth today. Should you worry about it? Read on.

Asteroid 2020 BV14 details: Danger to Earth?

NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies has named this upcoming asteroid as 2020 BV14. Its trajectory, distance of close approach, and expected speed have also been revealed by NASA's JPL. Today, on April 16, Asteroid 2023 FS10 is hurtling towards Earth at a fiery speed of 29381 kilometers per hour. Measuring around 250 feet, which is as big as a skyscraper, the asteroid will pass by at a distance of 4.3 million miles, NASA's JPL has revealed.

However, despite the close approach, it does not pose a significant risk to the planet as it falls outside the threat range for asteroids, as listed by NASA, which is when they come within 4.6 million miles and are larger than about 492 feet. Although, the distance between the coming asteroid and Earth is still way too far, but there is always a danger that something may cause it to deviate from its orbit and may make it head straight for our planet.

Tech tracking the asteroid danger

Some of the best technologies NASA has deployed to ensure a constant watch is kept on these dangerous asteroids includes optical and radio telescopes from which NASA determines the size, shape, rotation, direction and physical composition of these asteroids.

To detect the danger, NASA has established the NEO Observations Program, which is tasked with finding, tracking, and characterizing NEOs, and identifying those that may pose a hazard to Earth. Among the ground-based telescopes NASA uses to track asteroids are Pans-STARRS1 in Maui, Hawaii, the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona, while the space-based telescopes is NEOWISE.

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First Published Date: 16 Apr, 14:04 IST
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