Alert! This asteroid will get even CLOSER than the moon to Earth, says NASA

NASA has warned about this small yet potentially hazardous space rock, which will come extremely close to Earth today. It will be even closer than the moon.

| Updated on: Dec 18 2022, 12:29 IST
Asteroid whizzes past Earth in close encounter: NASA
1/5 On Wednesday, a giant fireball was seen and heard across the Mississippi, US. While locals were left wondering whether they saw an alien ship or an asteroid, NASA tells us the truth. (Pixabay)
Asteroid and Earth
2/5 According to, it is at a maximum distance of 380 million kilometers away from the Sun. On the other hand, its distance from the Earth was just 2.74 million kilometers, equivalent to 0.02 astronomical units. An astronomical unit (AU, or au) is basically a unit of length equal to the average, or mean, distance between Earth and the Sun, that is, 149,597,870.7 km (92,955,807.3 miles). (Pixabay)
3/5 The report says, “The asteroid 2022 OX3 flew past Earth on August 02 at 18:45 at a distance of 2.74 million kilometers at a speed of 16 kilometers per second.” Although NASA has stated that this asteroid didn’t pose any viable threat to Earth, it was still classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid due to the close proximity of its encounter with Earth. (NASA)
4/5 The Near-Earth objects (NEOs) are monitored by NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office which monitors the sky with telescopes and keeps a track of upcoming flybys. Keeping a track of these NEOs has become relatively easy with the advancement of technology. With the help of advanced telescopes, more than 750,000 asteroids have been discovered to date out of which over 27,000 are near-Earth asteroids. (Pixabay)
5/5 This is not the first encounter where an asteroid has flown close to Earth. On May 9, Asteroid Asteroid 467460 (2006 JF42), flew close past Earth. Previously, on April 28, Asteroid 418135 (2008 AG33), passed by our planet. (Pixabay)
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A small but potentially hazardous asteroid is approaching at a pace of 89220 kmph. (Pixabay)

There are over 1.1 million asteroids in our solar system, and they are more often found orbiting the Sun in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The asteroid belt contains a huge number of asteroids larger than 1 kilometre or 0.6 miles in diameter, while others are smaller in size. One of those small asteroids is now on its way toward Earth at a terrifying speed of 89220 kmph, CNEOS data revealed. This small asteroid measures 18-foot or 5 metres in diameter and is named 2022 YJ- size of a car. Well, you must be thinking that if this asteroid is small, then what makes it a matter of concern?

It is the proximity! As per the asteroid data tracking page by NASA, Asteroid 2022 YJ will fly past the Earth today December 18 at a horrifyingly close distance of just 175,000 miles. The worrying part is that it is even closer than our Moon! Much. much closer. The average distance between Earth and the moon is 239,000 miles or 385,000 kilometers.

Even more worrying is the fact that, as per, the asteroid 2022 YJ was discovered just a day ago on December 17, 2022. This near-Earth object belongs to the Apollo group, which makes one orbit around the Sun in 1254 days. Currently, the asteroid is below the horizon in the constellation of Taurus. It will appear in the sky in the east-southeast around 16:05.

To detect the terror in advance, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Center for NEO Studies maintains an impact risk assessment list of all the near-Earth objects that will make relatively close approaches to Earth. NASA's JPL has given the tag of potentially hazardous objects to all the space rocks that approach within 4.6 million miles of Earth and has a size larger than about 150 meters. This is what makes this small asteroid a potential threat to Earth.

This is how NASA tracks asteroids' terror

In order to monitor these asteroids, there are several Earth and Sky-based technologies like telescopes, satellites, and more deployed by NASA in space and on Earth. “Some of the most detailed characterization data is obtained for NEOs that approach Earth close enough to be observed with planetary radar, performed by radio telescopes at NASA's Deep Space Network and the National Science Foundation's Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico,” NASA revealed.

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First Published Date: 18 Dec, 12:28 IST