390-foot Asteroid terror flying towards Earth, NASA says; it will come terrifyingly close
While US space agency NASA is getting set to smash its DART mission spacecraft into an asteroid on September 26 to study how it affects the motion of an asteroid in space, a humongous space rock is headed toward Earth. This asteroid will make a terrifyingly close approach to our planet tomorrow. As per NASA Asteroid Watch Dashboard, this asteroid named 2005 RX3 measures 390-foot in size and will pass horrifically close to the Earth. In fact, it will come as close to Earth as 2.95 million miles. Does this asteroid pose a danger to Earth?
NASA keeps an active eye on all the near-Earth objects that will make relatively close approaches to Earth. According to a predetermined criteria, NASA's JPL says that any asteroid that approach within 4.6 million miles to Earth and has a size larger than about 150 meters is termed potentially hazardous objects. Hence, this asteroid also falls under the category of “potentially hazardous objects”.
While this asteroid tomorrow will pass close to Earth, there is always a danger that something may nudge it off course at he last moment that may make it head straight for Earth. However, the chances of that happening are negligible.
Tech behind Asteroid tracking
We do get to her about the warnings issued by NASA in regard to these potentially dangerous asteroids. But how does NASA keep constant track of all the asteroids, comets, and other near-Earth objects? The space agency explains, “NEOs are characterized by using optical and radio telescopes to determine their size, shape, rotation, and physical composition. Some of the most detailed characterization data is obtained for NEOs that approach Earth close enough to be observed with planetary radar, performed by radio telescopes at NASA's Deep Space Network and the National Science Foundation's Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.”
In short, some of the bet technologies have been deployed at huge expense to ensure that a constant watch is kept on as many asteroids as possible.
Did you know?
We are in constant danger of asteroids! NASA says that every day, 80 to 100 tons of material falls upon Earth from space in the form of dust and small meteorites, which are basically the small fragments of asteroids. In the last 20 years, around 600 very small asteroids have been detected, that were a few meters in size and entered Earth's atmosphere and created spectacular fireballs. Impacts of larger objects are expected to be far less frequent (on the scale of centuries to millennia). However, given the current incompleteness of the NEO catalogue, an unpredicted impact – such as the Chelyabinsk event – could occur at any time.