80-foot asteroid dashing towards Earth; NASA reveals its amazing speed and more

Could this oncoming asteroid impact Earth and cause damage? Here’s what NASA said about this space rock.

| Updated on: Jan 19 2023, 11:24 IST
From 721-foot monster to 22-foot dwarf, 5 asteroids to come very close to Earth
1/5 Asteroid 2022 YS5 - NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office has warned that the asteroid, named Asteroid 2022 YS5, will make its closest approach to Earth today, January 13, at a distance of 5.9 million kilometers. It is nearly as big as an aircraft, with a width of 130 feet. Asteroid 2022 YS5 is already hurtling towards the planet at a speed of 21506 kmph.  (Wikimedia Commons)
2/5 Asteroid 2014 LJ - A relatively small asteroid with a size of 22 feet will fly past Earth by a very close margin tomorrow, January 14. The asteroid, named Asteroid 2014 LJ, will make its closest approach with the planet at a distance of 1.8 million kilometers. The asteroid is travelling towards the planet at a blistering speed of 12515 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
3/5 Asteroid 2022 YH3 – Another asteroid named 2022 YH3 will make its closest approach to Earth tomorrow, January 14 at a distance of 7.2 million kilometers. The asteroid, with a width of 290, is travelling at a staggering speed of 58580 kilometers per hour towards the planet. (Pixabay)
4/5 Asteroid 2012 BV13 - NASA has issued an alert against another asteroid named Asteroid 2012 BV13. This asteroid is particularly concerning due to its monstrous size. According to NASA, it has a size ranging anywhere between 327 feet and 721 feet, making it nearly as big as a football field! It is expected to fly past Earth closely on January 16 at a distance of 1.5 million kilometers. The asteroid is already on its way towards Earth, travelling at a speedy 24042 kilometers per hour.  (WikiMedia Commons)
5/5 Asteroid 2020 BP - NASA has warned that an asteroid named Asteroid 2020 BP is heading for Earth and is expected to pass by the planet closely on January 20. Asteroid 2020 BP is already on its way towards us travelling at a fearsome speed of 60966 kilometers per hour. The asteroid, with a width between 62 feet and 141 feet, will make its closest approach to Earth a distance of just 1.9 million kilometers.  (Pixabay)
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Apollo asteroids are a group of Near-Earth asteroids named after the humongous 1862 Apollo asteroid.

Asteroids are rocky airless remnants left over from the early formation of our solar system about 4.6 billion years ago. Most of them are irregularly shaped, though a few are nearly spherical, and they are often pitted or cratered. As these space rocks revolve around the Sun in their elliptical orbits, the asteroids also rotate, sometimes quite erratically, tumbling as they go, according to NASA.

Asteroids often make close approaches to Earth, generally missing the planet by a couple of million kilometers. Some get as close as the our Moon is and some as close as our satellites are. And indeed, some crash into the planet too. COnsidering this fact, they are all monitored by NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office which keeps an eye on these Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) for any potential impact.

Now, the organization has warned that an 80-foot asteroid is hurtling towards Earth today at amazing speed and close approach to Earth.

Key information about Asteroid 2020 BP

NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office, which keeps an eye on dangerous Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), has red-flagged an asteroid named Asteroid 2020 BP due to its extremely close approach to the planet. The asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth today, January 19, at a distance of 3.5 million kilometers.

According to NASA, the space rock is already on its way towards the planet travelling at a fiery speed of nearly 62084 kilometers per hour, which is much faster than the speed of a hypersonic ballistic missile! Asteroid 2020 BP has a width of 80 feet. That means this space rock is the size of a commercial aircraft!

According to the-sky.org, the Asteroid 2020 BP belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. It was discovered nearly 2 years ago on January 18, 2020. This asteroid takes 1089 days to complete one trip around the Sun during which its maximum distance from the Sun is 508 million kilometers and nearest distance is 111 million kilometers.

How is an Asteroid Orbit Calculated?

An asteroid's orbit is computed by finding the elliptical path about the sun that best fits the available observations of the object using various space and ground-based telescopes such as NASA's NEOWISE telescope and its brand-new Sentry II algorithm. That is, the object's computed path about the sun is adjusted until the predictions of where the asteroid should have appeared in the sky at several observed times match the positions where the object was actually observed to be at those same time.

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First Published Date: 19 Jan, 10:36 IST