Asteroid alert! 130-foot asteroid hurtling towards Earth at warp speed

NASA has revealed an asteroid named Asteroid 2022 YS5 is hurtling towards Earth at ferocious speed. Know its details here.

| Updated on: Jan 13 2023, 11:20 IST
NASA reveals 5 asteroids, including 260-foot rock, dashing towards Earth
1/5 Asteroid 2022 YZ2 - NASA has red-flagged an asteroid named Asteroid 2022 YZ2 due to its extremely close approach to the planet. The asteroid has a width of 260 feet, making it nearly as big as a building, and will make its closest approach to Earth on January 12 at a distance of 6.4 million kilometers per hour and is already on its way travelling at a speed of nearly 23714 kilometers per hour.  (Wikimedia Commons)
2/5 Asteroid 2022 YD5 - An asteroid, named Asteroid 2022 YD5 will make a close approach on January 12. This asteroid is nearly the size of an aircraft with a width of 150 feet. The Asteroid 2022 YD5 is expected to make its closest approach to the planet at a distance of 3.1 million kilometers at a speed of 38184 kilometers per hour.  (Wikimedia Commons)
3/5 Asteroid 2022 YS5 – This asteroid, with a of 130 feet, will make its close trip to Earth on January 13 at a distance of nearly 5.9 million kilometers. The asteroid, known as Asteroid 2022 YS5, is rushing towards Earth slower than other asteroids at a speed of 21517 kilometers per hour.  (Pixabay)
4/5 Asteroid 2014 LJ – Another asteroid named Asteroid 2014 LJ is heading for Earth and will make a close approach on January 14 at a distance of 1.8 million kilometers. This asteroid is nearly the size of a bus with a width of 22 feet. NASA has revealed it is heading for Earth at a blistering speed of 21517 kilometers per hour. It will miss Earth at a distance of 1.8 million kilometers.  (Pixabay)
5/5 Asteroid 2022 YH3 – The fifth and largest asteroid, with a size of 280 feet, is named Asteroid 2022 YH3 and will be making its closest Earth approach on January 14. It will come as close as 7.2 million kilometers, according to NASA JPL. The asteroid is moving at a blistering speed of 58573 kilometer per hour (Pixabay)
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Asteroid 2022 YS5 belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth asteroids. (WikiMedia Commons)

Asteroids have several shapes, they may be spherical, elongated, or oddly shaped. Some asteroids even have their own satellites! Asteroids also vary in size. From Ceres, the largest asteroid known to man which is nearly the size of the Moon to asteroids that are less than 10 meters in diameter, they can be found in all shapes and sizes. Unlike bigger asteroids which seldom stray towards Earth, smaller space rocks frequently fly past the planet at close distances.

NASA has now revealed that another asteroid is on its way and it is huge!

Asteroid 2022 YS5 details

NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office has red-flagged an asteroid named Asteroid 2022 YS5 due to its extremely close approach with the planet. The asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth today, January 13, at a distance of 5.9 million kilometers per hour. It is already on its way towards the planet travelling at a speed of nearly 21506 kilometers per hour!

Asteroid 2022 YS5 is particularly concerning due to its huge size. With a width of 130 feet, this asteroid is nearly the size of an aircraft, says NASA. It could cause damage to life and property if it crashed, especially in a densely populated area.

Although this asteroid is not expected to collide with Earth, a slight deviation in its trajectory due to the Earth's gravitational pull can send the asteroid hurtling towards Earth for an impact. Though you should not be worried as NASA has already tested the plan to engage in planetary defense to protect the planet against rogue asteroids through its DART Mission.

How NASA studies and tracks asteroids: Tech explained

Surveys done by NASA-supported ground-based telescopes – including Pans-STARRS1 in Maui, Hawaii, as well as the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona – have identified thousands of near-Earth objects. And a space-based telescope called NEOWISE has identified hundreds of others while scanning the skies at near-infrared wavelengths of light from its polar orbit around Earth. NASA uses its ground-based radar to gather precise data about the asteroid's path and its characteristics.

NASA also has a new impact monitoring system in place which uses an algorithm called Sentry-II to calculate the impact risk of Near-Earth Objects. The space agency has a NEO Surveyor mission planned for launch in 2026 to gain even greater in-depth data using a new orbiter.

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First Published Date: 13 Jan, 11:19 IST