52-feet Apollo group asteroid tracked charging towards Earth by NASA; Know details | Tech News

52-feet Apollo group asteroid tracked charging towards Earth by NASA; Know details

Yet another asteroid flyby is imminent as NASA has tracked Asteroid 2020 PP1 hurtling towards Earth, and it could have a close encounter with the planet soon.

| Updated on: Jul 28 2023, 09:51 IST
Asteroid alert! NASA tracks 5 space rocks approaching Earth at breakneck speeds
1/5 Asteroid 2023 OS - Asteroid 2023 OS, is currently heading towards Earth and will pass closely by Earth today, July 21. The asteroid is nearly the size of an aircraft with a width of 150 feet. It is travelling at almost 38946 kilometers per hour and will make its closest approach at 1.9 million kilometers.  (Pixabay)
2/5 Asteroid NM1 – Asteroid NM1, which is nearly 110 feet wide, is heading for Earth and will also make a close approach today, July 21. It is moving at a blistering speed of 31998 kilometers per hour. It will miss Earth at a close distance of 5 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
3/5 Asteroid 2023 MX5 – Yet another asteroid named Asteroid 2023 MX5 will make its closest approach to Earth today, July 21. In terms of size, it is almost 250 feet wide. As per NASA, it will come as close as 4.5 million kilometers and is already moving at a speed of 42540 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
4/5 Asteroid 2023 NR1 – Asteroid 2023 NR1 will make its extremely close approach to the planet tomorrow, July 22. The asteroid, with a width of around 300 feet, will approach at a distance of 1.1 million kilometers and at a speed of nearly 54710 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
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5/5 Asteroid 2023 MM3 – Asteroid 2023 MM3, with a width of nearly 200 feet, will make its closest approach to Earth tomorrow, July 22. The space rock is already rushing towards Earth at a speed of 22958 kilometers per hour and will miss the planet by a distance of 7.3 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
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Asteroid 2020 PP1 belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. (Wikimedia Common)

NASA, with the help of its advanced ground and space-based telescopes, has tracked an asteroid whose orbit will bring it very close to Earth in the coming days. According to the details published by the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), an asteroid, given the designation of Asteroid 2020 PP1, is on its way toward Earth and could make its closest approach to the planet tomorrow, July 28.

As per the details, Asteroid 2020 PP1 is expected to make its closest approach to the planet at a distance of just 6.5 million kilometers, and at a speed of 14641 kilometers per hour which is much faster than Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs)!

It belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids, which are Earth-crossing space rocks with semi-major axes larger than Earth's. These asteroids are named after the humongous 1862 Apollo asteroid, discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in the 1930s.

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How big is the asteroid?

Asteroid 2020 PP1 is just 52 feet wide, which makes it almost as big as a house. According to NASA, the asteroid that is approaching Earth isn't big enough to be classified as a Potentially Hazardous Object, and it is not expected to hit the surface. Thus, at the moment we're safe from its impact. But things could change anytime as it could get knocked off its course due to interaction with a big planet's gravitational field, which could send it tumbling toward Earth.

Asteroid - the source of water on Earth?

Until now, it was believed that water was already present on Earth from the earliest times. However, a recent study has made an astonishing discovery that puts this very thought into doubt. The study has revealed that water may have originated on asteroids. The study was conducted after collecting samples from an asteroid called Ryugu by the Japanese Hayabusa-2 space probe during a 6-year space mission. The probe gathered 5.4 grams of dust and rock samples from the asteroid which scientists used to gather information on the origin of life.

The study said, "Ryugu particles are undoubtedly among the most uncontaminated Solar System materials available for laboratory study and ongoing investigations of these precious samples will certainly expand our understanding of early Solar System processes.”

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First Published Date: 28 Jul, 09:33 IST