After 70 years, Asteroid 2022 CP1 approaches Earth again; NASA provides details

An Apollo group asteroid, which last came close to Earth nearly 70 years ago, will make its closest approach to the planet today, August 17. Know details, as per NASA.

| Updated on: Aug 17 2023, 10:24 IST
Moon mission: Chandrayaan-3 completes final manoeuvre; here's what comes next
Asteroid 2022 CP1
1/7 Chandrayaan-3's Final Lunar-bound Manoeuvre: India's Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft successfully completes its fifth and final lunar-bound orbit manoeuvre, bringing it closer to the Moon's surface. (ISRO)
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2/7 Completion of Moon-bound Manoeuvres: Chandrayaan-3 concludes all its Moon-bound manoeuvres, entering an orbit of 153 km x 163 km. The next step is to prepare for the separation of the lander module from the propulsion module. (ISRO)
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3/7 Lander Module Separation: Preparations underway for the separation of the lander module, consisting of the lander and rover, from the propulsion module. The separation is scheduled for August 17. (ISRO)
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4/7 Progression of the Mission: Launched on July 14, Chandrayaan-3 entered lunar orbit on August 5. Orbit reduction manoeuvres were conducted on August 6, 9, and 14, positioning the spacecraft over the lunar poles. (PTI)
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5/7 Soft Landing Plans: Post-separation, the lander will undergo a "deboost" process to place it in an orbit with Perilune at 30 km and Apolune at 100 km. A soft landing attempt on the Moon's south polar region is planned for August 23. (ISRO)
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6/7 Challenges and Simulations: The landing's critical phase involves transitioning the lander's velocity from horizontal to vertical. Extensive simulations and adjustments in guidance design and algorithms have been made to ensure a successful landing. (ISRO)
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7/7 Chandrayaan-3 is a follow-on mission to Chandrayaan-2 (2019) aiming to demonstrate safe landing and roving on the Moon. It comprises a propulsion module, lander module, and rover with objectives including safe landing demonstration, rover mobility, and in-situ experiments on the lunar surface. (ISRO)
Asteroid 2022 CP1
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Asteroid 2022 CP1 belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. (NASA JPL)

The asteroid that struck Earth around 65 million years ago profoundly impacted the planet's future. While this impact was disastrous, it wasn't the biggest asteroid to ever hit Earth. Researchers have now found the crater of the largest asteroid to ever hit the planet located beneath the surface in New South Wales, Australia. The Deniliquin structure, which is nearly 520 kilometers wide, surpasses the previously known biggest asteroid crater called Vredefort, which was around 300 kilometers wide. The Deniliquin impact likely occurred on Gondwana's eastern part before its continent fragmentation.

And asteroids have not stopped coming and flying by the Earth and NASA, using its advanced tech, keeps a constant watch. Now, the US space agency has issued an alert against an asteroid that will pass Earth closely soon.

Asteroid 2022 CP1

The asteroid, given the designation of Asteroid 2022 CP1, is on its way towards Earth and it will make its closest approach to the planet today, August 17. The asteroid was spotted by NASA's Defense Coordination Office (PDCO), which is responsible for monitoring the skies and keeping a watch on various Near-Earth Objects (NEOs). Asteroid 2022 CP1 is expected to make its closest approach to the planet at a distance of 5.2 million kilometers at a speed of 35347 kilometers per hour, as per NASA.

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.

Despite its close approach, Asteroid 2022 CP1 does not pose any potential threat to the planet due to its relatively small size. With a width of around 38 feet, the asteroid is just as big as a bus. It does not meet the criteria to be qualified as a Potentially Hazardous Object.

What's more astonishing is that this is not the first time that this asteroid will come close to Earth. Its first-ever close approach in recorded history took place on August 19, 1956, as it passed the planet by a distance of 2.4 million kilometers. After today, the next time this asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth will be on February 7, 2051, when it will pass by at a distance of 6 million kilometers.

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First Published Date: 17 Aug, 10:23 IST
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