Alert! 160-foot wide scary asteroid is zooming towards the Earth today; know strike chance?
NASA has spotted an asteroid called 2022 SK which will come dangerously close towards the Earth today, September 24. Know if it can strike our planet.
The Earth has been playing hide-and-seek with asteroids for a while now. But it doesn't always win. In March, an asteroid named 2022 EB5 crashed into the planet north of Iceland in a remote coastal area. The asteroid was just a few feet wide and disintegrated just as it made impact, causing barely any destruction. But today, September 24, the Earth is facing a 160-feet wide asteroid strike threat that can destroy cities if it strikes the planet. Yes, it is that asteroid is big and scary. NASA has revealed that the asteroid will be coming dangerously close to us and it does pose a serious concern. So, will this asteroid strike us or will the Earth win another round of hide and seek? Read on to find out.
The tech marvel that guards the Earth
The reason NASA is able to predict and report on asteroids that are about to approach us not just today but months later is because of a very special telescope known as the NEOWISE (Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer). Launched in 2009, this space telescope was reassigned to observe asteroids and other near Earth objects in 2013. The telescope operates on an infrared spectrum allowing it to see objects that even escape the eye. It uses four bands of the spectrum — 3.4, 4.6, 12 and 22 micrometers — to observe any space rock moving towards us in the inner circle of the solar system.
Giant asteroid today
According to information from Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Small-Body database and Center For Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), departments of NASA who all collate the information from NEOWISE, we know quite a bit about this asteroid. It is named 2022 SK and it was first spotted on September 16 of this year. And that is a shock as it would have left no chance to Earth to try and deflect it ot prepare for disaster on Earth. A close approach of up to 6.9 million kilometers is expected but given that the asteroid is traveling at a mind numbing speed of 59,904 kmph, it can close that distance in hours if not days, if a last moment deviation took place.
Asteroid strike chance?
For now the Earthlings can rest easy knowing that NASA believes the asteroid will make a safe passage and will not strike the planet. But it is constantly monitoring the space rock so nothing unexpected happens while we are not paying attention.
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