ALERT! Dangerous asteroid, as big as a bus, approaching Earth today, says NASA

    Asteroid 2022 OC4 is classified as an Apollo class asteroid and it is set to make a dangerously close approach to the Earth today, August 9, according to NASA.
    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Aug 09 2022, 12:05 IST
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    1/5 Apocalyptic movies like Deep Impact, Armageddon and Don't Look Up have always explored the ‘What Ifs’ of world destruction. Now, NASA is set to defend the planet against a very similar threat that is posed by asteroids. (Pixabay)
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    2/5 The DART mission will cost a staggering $240 million. The aim of the mission is to smash a spacecraft into the Dimorphos asteroid to deflect it away from its path. While this asteroid in no way threatens Earth, the NASA asteroid mission is to carry out an experiment to gain greater knowledge as to what happens when a craft is crashed against a space rock. This knowledge will be used if an actual asteroid threatens to crash against the Earth. It will help avert an Armageddon on Earth and perhaps, even save humanity from extinction. (NASA)
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    3/5 According to Financial Times, chief scientist at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory, Andy Cheng, came up with the DART concept along with a senior researcher. Dr. Cheng said, “It feels very exciting — like a dream come true — for something we’ve been thinking about for 20 years to be actually happening." (Pixabay)
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    4/5 The DART mission has already sent the main spacecraft to space in November, 2021. It includes a satellite made by the Italian Space Agency. Another spacecraft is set to launch by 2026, to measure the impact. (NASA)
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    5/5 NASA said, "DART is the first-ever mission dedicated to investigating and demonstrating one method of asteroid deflection by changing an asteroid’s motion in space through kinetic impact." (Pixabay)
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    NASA reveals the threat of a large incoming asteroid which is going to make a dangerously close approach to the Earth today, August 9. (Pixabay)

    Dangerous asteroids have been passing the Earth left and right even as our planet has been narrowly escaping potential crashes. Last week, a 700-feet wide potentially hazardous asteroid zoomed past our planet. And days before that, a couple of asteroids of the size of 400 and 600 feet narrowly missed the Earth. And now, the fear of impact continues as another asteroid is expected to fly very close to us. While it is not as large as the previous three, with a rough estimate of about 36-feet, it will be coming much closer to the Earth than the three space rocks. This close proximity is giving nightmares to scientists as even at this size, the asteroid is quite capable of causing damage to a large area. So, will it hit us? Read on to find out.

    According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a division of NASA, the asteroid has been named 2022 OC4. The asteroid was first spotted on July 28, 2022. The 36-feet wide asteroid is expected to come as close as 1.5 million kilometers to the Earth. Even if it seems like a large distance, in recent months, no asteroid has come this close to the Earth (not counting the ones that made impact). So, scientists are concerned and are monitoring the space rock continuously. But the prediction models claim that the asteroid should be making a safe passage across our planet.

    Asteroid, as large as a bus, is approaching the Earth

    According to the NASA Small-body database, this asteroid belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. Apollo asteroids are any such asteroids whose orbital size is larger than the Earth but its perihelion (position on the orbit which is closest to the Sun) is nearer than that of the Earth. The near-Earth object has an elliptical orbit where its perihelion is between Earth and Venus and its aphelion (position on orbit farthest from the Sun) is between Mars and Jupiter.

    According to NASA prediction models, if it does not deviate from its path, it will make a safe passage. But that might be a temporary relief as the same asteroid is set to make a much closer approach to the Earth in the year 2032.

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    First Published Date: 09 Aug, 12:05 IST
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