Aircraft-sized Apollo group asteroid to buzz Earth! NASA reveals speed, distance and size | Tech News

Aircraft-sized Apollo group asteroid to buzz Earth! NASA reveals speed, distance and size

An Apollo group asteroid is expected to make its closest approach to Earth soon. Know its details such as speed, size, and distance, as revealed by NASA.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Aug 08 2023, 11:19 IST
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Asteroid
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Asteroid 2022 BS2 belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. (Pixabay)

Asteroids have been known to make frequent close approaches to Earth at regular intervals. That is why space agencies such as NASA and ESA observe, track and even name them. But how does this process take place? According to ESA, the process of assigning a provisional designation to an asteroid begins when a single observer detects it on two consecutive nights and then sends their findings to the Minor Planet Centre of the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

The IAU assigns a provisional designation, which typically consists of a serial number like "2023 HV5". The provisional designation includes the year of the asteroid's discovery, followed by two letters that indicate the order of its discovery during that year.

NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office, with the help of its advanced ground and space-based telescopes and satellites, has alerted that an asteroid will be making a close approach to Earth soon.

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Asteroid 2022 BS2: Details

This Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) is expected to make its closest approach to Earth on August 11. Whilst this space rock will come very close to the planet, it is not expected to impact the surface. According to NASA, Asteroid 2022 BS2 will pass by Earth at a distance of around 6.6 million kilometers.

It is already on its way toward the planet, travelling at a blistering speed of 29585 kilometers per hour. While this asteroid will pass Earth by a very close margin, it is not big enough to be called a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid. According to NASA, Asteroid 2022 BS2 is almost 95 feet wide, making it almost as big as an aircraft!

The space agency has also revealed that this space rock 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.

NASA's asteroid tracking tech

NASA tracks asteroids using a combination of ground-based and space-based telescopes. The NASA-funded Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) scans the night sky for moving objects and reports any potential asteroid detections, while some space-based observatories use infrared sensors to detect asteroids and their characteristics. Some of these include the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and the NEOWISE mission.

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First Published Date: 08 Aug, 10:27 IST
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