310-foot asteroid coming dangerously close to Earth, NASA reveals | Tech News

310-foot asteroid coming dangerously close to Earth, NASA reveals

NASA has issued asteroid warning for an absolutely colossal 310-foot asteroid that is coming dangerously close to Earth! Here’s what the US space agency said.

| Updated on: Sep 09 2022, 10:53 IST
What is an Asteroid? NASA defines what these dangerous objects in sky are
1/5 An asteroid is a small, rocky object hurtling through the sky. When seen in a telescope, an asteroid appears as a point of light, according to NASA. Most asteroids are found in a ring between the orbit of Mars and Jupiter called the asteroid belt. (Pixabay)
2/5 Asteroids have several shapes, they may be spherical, elongated, or oddly shaped. Some asteroids even have their own satellites! Asteroids also vary in size. From Vesta, the largest at about 530 kilometers in diameter, to asteroids that are less than 10 meters in diameter, they can be found in all shapes and sizes. (Pixabay)
3/5 Asteroids are also called minor planets. These celestial objects are the remains of the period during which our solar system formed, over 4.6 billion years ago. According to NASA, the current known asteroid count is 1,113,527. (HT_PRINT)
4/5 Asteroids can potentially threaten life on Earth. Apocalyptic movies like Deep Impact, Armageddon and Don't Look Up have always explored the ‘What Ifs’ of world destruction, with the most famous means of world destruction being asteroids crashing into Earth. (Pixabay)
5/5 To counter this, NASA had readied itself to potentially defend the planet against a very similar threat that is posed by asteroids by preparing the DART mission. It involves smashing a spacecraft into an oncoming asteroid at a speed of nearly 23,000kph. 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)
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Asteroid 2008 RW heading for Earth at dangerous speeds! Check out what NASA has to say about this massive 310-foot asteroid. (AP)

NASA has raised an asteroid warning for Asteroid 2008 RW. It seems that even the month of September is not safe from asteroid flybys. August was an eventful month where more than 40 asteroids passed closely by Earth. September has also seen nearly a dozen asteroids going into just the second week of the month. Now, NASA has issued yet another warning about an asteroid that is heading for Earth at dangerous speeds. To study asteroids that are not in the asteroid belt, NASA has the Lucy Space Mission. NASA launched its Lucy spacecraft on Oct. 16, 2021 from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Asteroid 2008 RW heading for Earth

NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office has warned that a colossal 310-foot wide asteroid, named Asteroid 2022 RW is heading for Earth. It is expected to fly past the planet very closely on September 12. According to NASA, the asteroid is already hurtling towards Earth at a hair-raising speed of 36,720 kilometers per hour. It will make its closest approach to Earth on September 12 at a distance of nearly 6.7 million kilometers.

Asteroid 2008 RW is not expected to impact with Earth but was still classified as a “Potentially Hazardous Object” due to the close proximity with which it will pass by Earth. Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) are classified as Potentially Hazardous Objects if they come within 8 million kilometers of the Earth. Swinburne University of Technology says, "If the orbit of a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) is such that there is a (typically small) chance it will collide with the Earth and cause significant damage at some point in the future, it is also labelled a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA)."

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According to the-sky.org, the Asteroid 2008 RW was discovered on September 8, 2008 and belongs to the main Apollo group of asteroids. The asteroid orbit's farthest point from the Sun is 456 million kilometers, and the nearest point to the Sun is 139 million kilometers. Asteroid 2008 RW takes 1023 days to complete one orbit around the Sun.

This is NASA's first space mission to study the Trojans, a group of asteroids which orbit the Sun in two groups. It is built to seek out trojan asteroids millions of miles from Earth.

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First Published Date: 09 Sep, 10:53 IST