98-foot asteroid to buzz Earth tomorrow! NASA reveals its speed, trajectory

An aircraft-sized asteroid could be making a trip to Earth as early as tomorrow, NASA has revealed.

| Updated on: Dec 16 2022, 09:32 IST
5 scary asteroids, including a skyscraper-sized, 270-foot, space rock, set to pass Earth
1/5 Asteroid 2015 RN35 - NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office has red-flagged an asteroid named Asteroid 2015 RN35 due to its extremely close approach to the planet. The 270-foot asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth today, December 15 at a distance of just 686000 million kilometers and is already on its way travelling at a speed of nearly 21276 kilometers per hour, which is more than the speed of a hypersonic ballistic missile!  (Pixabay)
2/5 Asteroid 2022 XO - An asteroid, named Asteroid 2022 XO too, is on its way towards Earth and will make a close approach today, December 9. What’s shocking is that the asteroid is nearly the size of an aircraft with a width of 82 feet! The Asteroid 2022 XO is expected to make its closest approach to the planet at a distance of 3.2 million kilometers at a speed of 30951 kilometers per hour, as per NASA.  (ESA)
3/5 Asteroid 2022 WU11 – This asteroid, with a size ranging between 75 feet and 170 feet, will make its close trip to Earth on December 17, at a distance of nearly 4.4 million kilometers. The asteroid, known as Asteroid 2022 WU11, is already rushing towards Earth, travelling at a speed of 38056 kilometers per hour.  (Pixabay)
image caption
4/5 Asteroid 2016 YE – Another asteroid named Asteroid 2016 YE is heading for Earth and will make a close approach on December 18. This asteroid, with a size between 59 feet and 127 feet, is heading for Earth at a blistering speed of 17138 kilometers per hour. It will miss Earth at a distance of 7.1 million kilometers.  (Pixabay)
5/5 Asteroid 2019 XC1 – The fifth asteroid, with a size ranging between 52 feet and 114 feet, is named Asteroid 2022 XC1 and will be making its closest Earth approach on December 18. It will come as close as 3.1 million kilometers, according to NASA JPL. The asteroid is moving at a blistering speed of 25598 kilometer per hour. (Pixabay)
View all Images
Know the details of this huge asteroid speeding towards Earth. (Pixabay)

The seemingly vast emptiness of space is actually full of humongous celestial objects, out of which only a few have been discovered so far. Asteroids are some of these objects. They are rocky, airless remnants left over from the early formation of our solar system about 4.6 billion years ago, according to NASA. Most of them can be found orbiting the Sun between Mars and Jupiter within the main asteroid belt. Although they are found millions of light years away, they occasionally make a close trip to Earth.

Asteroid 2022 WU11 details

NASA has issued an alert about an asteroid named Asteroid 2022 WU11 which is headed for Earth tomorrow, December 17. According to the space agency, this 98 feet wide is nearly the size of an aircraft, and will make its closest approach to the planet at a distance of 4.4 million kilometers. It is hurtling towards Earth at a staggering speed of 38026 kilometers per hour, which is more than twice the speed of a missile!

NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office keeps a check on these Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) for any potential collision with Earth and declares them as Potentially Hazardous Objects if they come within around 8 million kilometers of Earth.

According to the-sky.org, the Asteroid 2022 WU11 belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. It was discovered recently on November 27. This asteroid takes 1176 days to complete one trip around the Sun during which its maximum distance from the Sun is 513 million kilometers and nearest distance is 139 million kilometers.

NASA tech to calculate asteroid orbit

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.

Follow HT Tech for the latest tech news and reviews , also keep up with us on Twitter, Facebook, Google News, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

First Published Date: 16 Dec, 09:31 IST
keep up with tech