40-foot killer Asteroid 2022 QP4 zooming past Earth today! Speed will astonish you

NASA has warned that 40 feet wide Asteroid 2022 QP4 will zoom past Earth today, August 26. Here's what you need to know.

By: SHAURYA TOMER
| Updated on: Aug 26 2022, 17:36 IST
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What is an Asteroid? NASA defines what these dangerous objects in sky are
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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 2022 QP4 is one of the many asteroids which have recently passed closely by Earth’s orbit in the last month. (HT_PRINT)

Earth's atmosphere has been showered with asteroids this month with more than 35 asteroids already missing Earth by a close margin. Although none of the asteroids have crashed on Earth, they still pose a threat due to their close proximity with Earth. Now, NASA has warned that another asteroid will zoom past Earth closely today. The asteroid, named Asteroid 2022 QP4 is already on its way towards Earth.

Asteroid 2022 QP4 to zoom past Earth

Nearly 40 feet in width, Asteroid 2022 QP4 is almost as wide as a bus. It is expected to zoom past Earth closely today at 21:45 UTC time. According to NASA, the asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth at a distance of 1.4 million kilometers, travelling at a blistering speed of 27,648 kilometers per hour.

According to skylive.com, the Asteroid 2022 QP4 takes nearly 1065 days to complete one orbit around the Sun. That is nearly three times the number of days it takes Earth to complete one orbit.

NASA's Lucy Mission to seek trojan asteroids in the solar system

NASA launched its Lucy spacecraft on Oct. 16, 2021 from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. This is NASA's first space mission to study the Trojans, a group of asteroids which orbit the Sun in two groups, according to NASA.

The mission is already proving to be fruitful as the trojan asteroid-seeking spacecraft recently discovered an asteroid called Polymele that had its own satellite. The day this discovery was made, the Lucy Mission team were planning to study the occultation of the star as the asteroid passed around it. Polymele's satellite is roughly 5 miles in diameter orbiting the asteroid about 200 kilometers from the asteroid. The asteroid itself is almost 17 miles in diameter and is nearly 480 million miles from Earth.

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First Published Date: 26 Aug, 17:36 IST
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