Asteroid 2022 QB2, clocked at a staggering 57060 kmph, to whizz past Earth today!

An asteroid named Asteroid 2022 QB2 is heading for Earth today at a staggering speed of 57060 kmph. Will it miss the planet? Read on to find out.

| Updated on: Sep 01 2022, 19:25 IST
This asteroid is worth $10,000 Quadrillion
16 Psyche
1/6 hereas other asteroids are generally made up of ice or rocks, this unique asteroid is made up of nickel, which is one of the building blocks of the solar system. One of the biggest asteroids in our Solar System, the 16 Psyche asteroid is made up of gold, nickel and iron deposits and is supposedly worth more than Earth's economy. The asteroid is worth nearly $10,000 Quadrillion. (NASA)
Asteroid and Earth
2/6 The Psyche Mission will also help scientists to study and understand iron cores, a previously unexplored building block of planet formation. The 16 Psyche asteroid mission is a part of NASA's Discovery missions. (Pixabay)
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3/6 The findings of this mission could enable scientists to develop a way of using asteroids as resources. Asteroids could come in handy when building structures in space, such as bases on other planets or even the Moon. Due to their 85 percent metal structure, they could be an excellent source of minerals. It is even said that the raw materials extracted from asteroids could even exceed the metal reserves present on Earth. (NASA)
4/6 The mission has been in the phase known as assembly, test, and launch operations since March 2021. Since the launch window is limited, scientists and engineers have worked round the clock in order to finish the spacecraft's assembly in time. However, due to unexpected software issues, the mission has now been delayed and pushed to 2023. (NASA)
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5/6 NASA said, "Due to the late delivery of the spacecraft's flight software and testing equipment, NASA does not have sufficient time to complete the testing needed ahead of its remaining launch period this year, which ends on October 11. The mission team needs more time to ensure that the software will function properly in flight." (NASA)
6/6 In order to reach the asteroid, the spacecraft will fly by Mars for a gravity assist in May 2023 and, in early 2026, orbit around asteroid Psyche in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. NASA says that the Psyche mission is expected to launch in both 2023 and 2024, but due to the uncertainties, the exact dates of these potential launch periods are yet to be determined. (NASA)
Asteroids, comets and meteors are different from each other. Here is what the NASA scientist says.
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Asteroids, comets and meteors are different from each other. Here is what the NASA scientist says. (NASA)

August's trend of asteroid flybys has continued into the month of September. 3 asteroids have been expected to fly past Earth closely today. These asteroids, named Asteroid 2022 QQT7, Asteroid 2021 CQ5 and Asteroid 2022 QB2, will fly past Earth at blistering speeds. Fortunately, these asteroids will miss the Earth by a few million kilometers. According to scientists, this asteroid could cause massive damage on Earth if it deviates from its orbit due to the pull of Earth's gravitational field. Here's what we know about Asteroid 2022 QB2.

Asteroid 2022 QB2 to whizz past Earth today

The Asteroid 2022 QB2 is already on its way towards Earth. It is travelling at a staggering speed of 57,060 kilometers per hour. According to NASA, the Asteroid 2022 QB2 is nearly as big as an aeroplane, with a width of almost 100 feet, easily making it the largest of the 3 asteroids which will fly past the planet today. It will make its closest approach to Earth today, September 1, at a distance of nearly 3.94 million kilometers.

Current trajectory of Asteroid 2022 QB2.
Current trajectory of Asteroid 2022 QB2. (NASA)
Current trajectory of Asteroid 2022 QB2.
Current trajectory of Asteroid 2022 QB2. (NASA)

If this asteroid was on a collision course with Earth, it would cause global catastrophe. However, NASA is preparing a strategy to defend the planet against asteroid threats. NASA's DART Mission, launched in November 2021, is getting ready to impact this month with its target asteroid Dimorphos on September 26. This test will help scientists 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.

Although the collision will take place seven million miles away, NASA has sent a smaller spacecraft with a camera that will record the entire event. The crash landing is going to take place on September 26 at 4:44 AM IST (7:14 PM ET). The livestream will begin at 3:30 AM IST (6 PM ET). To watch it, you can go to NASA's official website, YouTube channel as well as Facebook and Twitter.

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First Published Date: 01 Sep, 19:25 IST
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