ALERT! Stadium-sized potentially hazardous asteroid to come dangerously close to the Earth today!

An Apollo group asteroid, which has been declared as a Potentially Hazardous Object by NASA, is expected to make its closest approach to Earth today, July 12. Know if it will impact.

| Updated on: Jul 12 2023, 10:24 IST
Asteroid threat! 5 space rocks zooming towards Earth, including 190-foot giant, NASA reveals
1/6 In the next week, NASA has warned that a mammoth asteroid named 2018 UY, which is expected to be more than 800-foot wide, will have a close encounter with Earth. In fact not 1, there are 5 asteroids that are heading towards Earth.  (Pixabay)
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2/6 Asteroid  2023 LN1: This is the largest of these upcoming asteroids. It measures 190-foot and will make the closest approach of 2.26 million miles from Earth on July 10. (Pixabay)
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3/6 Asteroid 2018 NW: This is a 31-foot asteroid that will approach Earth on July 10. It will come around 4.29 million miles to Earth. However, the worrying part is that the asteroid is hurtling toward Earth at a blazing speed of 78542 km per hour. (Pixabay)
4/6 Asteroid 2023 MD2: There is a 150-foot astetoid which is zooming towards Earth at a blistering speed of 30362 km per hour, CNEOS data mentioned. It will come as close as 1.33 million miles to the Earth on July 11. (Pixabay)
5/6 Asteroid 2023 MQ1: Another 150-foot-wide asteroid is ready to make its close encounter with the Earth on July 11 at a mere 2.56 million miles distance. It is already on its way at a speed of 21504 km per hour.  (Pixabay)
6/6 Asteroid 2023 NE: There is a triple asteroid flyby on July 11! This 130-foot asteroid is said to make the closest approach towards Earth at a velocity of 43173 kmph and it will come as close as just 2.69 million miles to Earth.   (Pixabay)
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Asteroid 2018 UY belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. (Pixabay)

More and more asteroids have been flying past Earth albeit at close but safe distances. Due to the potential danger of impact, it is important for space agencies such as NASA and ESA to keep an eye on these space rocks. NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office monitors the skies with telescopes and keeps track of upcoming near-Earth object (NEO) flybys. With the help of advanced satellites and ground-based telescopes such as the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS), 1,298,692 asteroids have been discovered to date, of which more than 27,000 are near-Earth asteroids with orbits bringing them closer than 7.5 million kilometers of Earth.

One of these rocks is Asteroid 2018 UY which is expected to make its closest approach to Earth today.

Asteroid 2018 UY details

The asteroid, designated as Asteroid 2018 UY by NASA's Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), will make its closest approach to Earth today, July 12, at a distance of 2.8 million kilometers. It is dashing towards Earth at a breakneck speed of 58979 kilometers per hour.

What's concerning about this asteroid is that it is mammoth in size. With a width of nearly 760 feet, it is almost as big as a stadium! It has been added to NASA's Close Approaches list and has also been declared as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid due to its close distance of approach as well as its enormous size.

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.

Asteroids hiding behind the Sun

Astronomers have spotted three near-Earth asteroids (NEA) hiding in the glare of the Sun. One of them is the largest object that is potentially hazardous to Earth to be discovered in the last eight years. A team using the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) mounted on the Victor M. Blanco 4-meter Telescope in Chile, a Program of NSF's NOIRLab, discovered these asteroids.

This is a notoriously challenging region for observations because asteroid hunters have to contend with the glare of the Sun. By taking advantage of the brief yet favourable observing conditions during twilight, however, the astronomers found this elusive trio.

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First Published Date: 12 Jul, 10:20 IST