Aircraft-sized asteroid to pass Earth today, reveals NASA

NASA has tracked Asteroid 2022 JF rushing towards Earth in its orbit and is expected to pass the planet today, November 3. Know the details of its close approach.

| Updated on: Nov 03 2023, 11:30 IST
Chandrayaan-4 mission: How ISRO will carry out the lunar mission
1/5 Chandrayaan-4 mission will be led by ISRO and JAXA in which they will try to find presence of water in the lunar soil. The mission will consist of various payloads and scientific instruments to conduct a thorough study. (JAXA)
2/5 According to JAXA, the selection of the investigation area and observation points with unique environmental and geological features will be decided before the landing. Then the ISRO lander will land near the investigation area where the maximum sunlight will be present. (JAXA)
3/5 As per reports, the rover will try to reach depths of up to 1.5 meters below the surface during its operation which will enable the rover to find the potential water resources in the area. Additionally, the rover will perform surface observations of the Moon. (JAXA)
4/5 If the lunar soil has the presence of hydrogen, then the rover will drill the surface to collect samples. Then the sample will be heated which will be used to determine its chemical composition, analyze water content, and conduct isotopic examination. (JAXA)
5/5 The Chandrayaan-4 mission is expected to be launched in the year 2025. The lander and the rover are now in the development stage and both space agencies will be providing more details about their progression.  (JAXA)
icon View all Images
Asteroid 2022 JF belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. (Pixabay)

An asteroid struck Earth this year! No, this isn't the plot of a Roland Emmerich science-fiction but reality. Although it wasn't a planet killer that wiped out entire species like another space rock wiped out the dinosaurs about 65 million years ago, it did impact the surface, alerting citizens who lived nearby. As per NASA, an asteroid turned into an atmospheric fireball on February 15 and crashed near McAllen, Texas. Law enforcement agencies in the McAllen region received several calls from residents who reported hearing a loud explosion. It was a 1000-pound rock that was 2 feet in diameter as it broke into pieces about 21 miles above Earth's surface.

In a separate development, NASA has issued details about an asteroid expected to pass Earth today. Know the details of its close approach.

Asteroid 2022 JF: Details of close approach

With the help of its advanced ground and space-based telescopes, NASA has tracked an asteroid whose orbit will bring it very close to Earth today. As per the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), an asteroid, given the designation of Asteroid 2022 JF, is on its way toward Earth and could pass Earth today, November 3.

This near-Earth space rock is expected to make its closest approach to the planet at a distance of 5.8 million kilometers and at a speed of 61744 kilometers per hour which is almost as fast as a space shuttle!

According to 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.

How big is the asteroid?

In terms of size, Asteroid 2022 JF is nearly 120 feet wide, which makes it almost as big as an aircraft! It is twice as big as the Chelyabinsk asteroid that exploded over the Russian city in 2013, damaging 7000 buildings and injuring 1000 people with glass shards flying around.

What is the Alvarez hypothesis?

The Alvarez hypothesis, proposed by father and son duo Luis and Walter Alvarez in 1980, states that an asteroid struck Earth more than 65 million years ago and kicked off the extinction of dinosaurs. Although its impact crater has been presumed to be in Mexico, new light has now been shed on how it reached Earth. According to the English physicist Brian Cox, the asteroid, which formed a 140-kilometer impact crater, was thrown off its course by Jupiter, the largest planet in our Solar System.

“It is highly likely or possible that it was deflected into a collision course with Earth by Jupiter,” Cox said, highlighting that Jupiter is the creator and destroyer of worlds.

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

First Published Date: 03 Nov, 11:30 IST