400-foot asteroid heading for Earth on Christmas Day; NASA clocks it at a scary 25028 kmph

NASA has warned about this giant 400-foot-wide potentially hazardous asteroid, which will come extremely close to Earth today. Should you worry? Know what NASA said.

| Updated on: Dec 25 2022, 16:01 IST
Are near-Earth objects DANGEROUS? Know what NASA says about scary comets, asteroids
Asteroid and Earth
1/5 Earth has objects near it, which sometimes get attracted towards the planet because of its gravitational pull. Of course, not every near-Earth object manages to reach the surface of the planet. The object needs to be large enough to survive its fiery journey through the atmosphere of the Earth. (Pixabay)
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2/5 What is a near-Earth object? Asteroids or comets that can pass within 30 million miles or 50 million kilometers of Earth's orbit are known as near-Earth objects or NEO. According to NASA, "A near-Earth object (NEO) is an asteroid or comet whose orbit brings it within a zone approximately 121 million miles (195 million kilometers) from the Sun, meaning that it can pass within about 30 million miles (50 million kilometers) of Earth’s orbit." (Pixabay)
3/5 NASA further informed that the vast majority of NEOs that enter Earth’s atmosphere disintegrate before reaching the surface (and more than 100 tons of dust particles disintegrate in Earth’s atmosphere daily). Those NEOs that are larger than around 98 to 164 feet (30 to 50 meters) in size could cause widespread damage in and around their impact sites. Apart from NEOs, there is another category that NASA uses. These are the potentially hazardous objects (PHO). These are near-Earth objects whose orbit brings them within 4.7 million miles (7.5 million km) of Earth’s orbit, or is greater than 500 feet (140 meters) in size. (Pixabay)
4/5 The highest risk of impact for a known asteroid is a 1 in 714 chance of impact by an asteroid designated 2009 FD in 2185. This means that the possibility that it could impact then is less than 0.2 percent. NASA said, "One asteroid that NASA is studying up close, called Bennu, has a 1/2700 chance of impacting Earth between 2175 and 2195. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will complete a 2-year investigation of Bennu before plucking a sample of asteroid material off its surface and delivering it back to Earth." (Pixabay)
5/5 How can we prevent an asteroid from hitting Earth? Currently, an asteroid impact is the only natural disaster that NASA might be able to prevent. There are a few methods that NASA is studying to deflect an asteroid on a course to impact Earth. One of these techniques is called a gravity tractor—it involves a spacecraft that would rendezvous with an asteroid (but not land on its surface) and maintain its relative, optimal position to use the mutual gravity attraction between the satellite and the asteroid to slowly alter the course of the asteroid. (Pixabay)
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An insanely large 400-foot asteroid is nearing Earth today at a staggering speed of 25028 kmph, NASA informed. (Wikimedia Commons)

Even as you are celebrating Christmas with your friends, family, and loved ones, there is an enormous asteroid rushing towards the Earth and is set to come dangerously close. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory informed on its portal that a potentially hazardous asteroid of a whopping 400-foot in diameter is rushing towards the Earth on December 25, that is today. This asteroid dubbed 2022 TE14 will make an uncomfortably close approach to the Earth. At its worst, a giant asteroid collision with Earth can have disastrous consequences, it can even end the whole of humankind on the planet.

Do you remember those tales about the disappearance of the dinosaurs from Earth? Yes, those tales are true! The reason is none other than the strike of the asteroid 65 million years ago. However, to keep a constant eye on these monster rocks, NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office monitors the skies and keeps a watch on various Near-Earth Objects (NEOs). If any NEO comes within 8 million kilometers of Earth, the organization red flags the NEO and issues an alert. So should you worry about this upcoming 400-foot-wide asteroid? Know what NASA said.

Danger of 400-foot wide asteroid

As per the asteroid data tracking page by NASA, Asteroid 2022 TE14 will fly past the Earth today December 25 at a horrifyingly close distance of just 2.67 million miles at a speed of 25028 kmph. NASA's JPL has given the tag of potentially hazardous objects to all the space rocks that approach within 4.6 million miles of Earth and have a size larger than about 150 meters. This is what makes this giant 400-foot asteroid a potential threat to Earth.

The asteroid 2022 TE14 was first discovered on September 22, 2022, which belongs to the Apollo group. Sky.org said that this asteroid makes one orbit around the Sun in 932 days. After this, the next expected close approach of this giant space rock is expected on January 08, 2074.

However, you should not worry as there are several Earth and Sky-based technologies like telescopes, satellites, and more deployed by NASA in space. NASA keeps a constant eye on the movements of the asteroids to ensure any kind of threat is quickly found.

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First Published Date: 25 Dec, 15:59 IST
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