Asteroid alert! Bus-sized monster rock speeding towards Earth at 19932kmph, says NASA

NASA has warned about this perilous space rock that will come extremely close to Earth today. NASA shared the details of the potential danger it may pose.

| Updated on: Jan 22 2023, 14:49 IST
5 Massive asteroids zooming towards Earth in coming days! Check speed, distance, more
1/5 Asteroid 2023 AE1: It is a bus-sized asteroid of 40 foot and is travelling towards Earth at a great speed of 19944 kilometers per hour. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has alerted about the same and has informed that it will make its closest approach to planet Earth on Sunday, January 22, at a distance of 1450000 kilometers. (Bloomberg)
2/5 Asteroid 2019 BO2: Another asteroid that will be zooming towards our planet is 2019 BO2. NASA has informed that it is 67 foot in size and will make the closest Earth approach at a distance of 4630000 kilometers on January 24, 2023. The airplane-sized asteroid is travelling at a staggering speed of 58356 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
3/5 Asteroid 2019 BZ4: NASA has warned that a 62 foot house sized asteroid named 2019 BZ4 will be nearing Earth on January 24. According to the research organisation, the asteroid is travelling at a speed of 20160 kilometers per hour. The asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth at a distance of 6320000 kilometers per hour. (Wikimedia Commons)
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4/5 Asteroid 2023 AQ1: January 25 will be witnessing a massive 170 foot asteroid racing towards planet Earth. This airplane sized asteroid will make its closest approach to the planet at a distance of 3910000 kilometers at a mind numbing speed of 56556 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
5/5 Asteroid 2023 AP1: The 85 foot asteroid will make its closest Earth approach at a distance of 3910000 kilometers. The asteroid is travelling at a speed of 33768 kilometers per hour and is said to pass by the planet without posing any kind of threat or danger. (Wikimedia Commons)
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Asteroid 2023 AE1, which is 42-foot in size, is a potential threat to Earth, says NASA. (Pixabay)

Today, there is a potentially hazardous rocky visitor that will come extremely close to Earth! Though, countless asteroids keep zooming past the Earth at astonishing speed, most of them burn up in the atmosphere itself. However, some reach the ground with catastrophic consequences, while others are too small to do any damage. You must have heard about the destructive asteroid impact due to the Chicxulub collision which resulted in the mass extinction of most dinosaurs on Earth around 66 million years ago, and of many other species.

Now, a bus-sized asteroid is on its way to Earth! To calculate the potential threat from an asteroid or near-Earth object (NEO), NASA keeps a close eye on all the upcoming asteroids and comets. One such asteroid is 2023 AE1, which measures 42-foot in diameter and it is fast approaching Earth.

It is not the size but the main concern is it will make a terrifyingly close approach of just 0.9 million miles to Earth! It is a matter of concern as NASA's Asteroid Watch dashboard says that any asteroid that approaches within 4.6 million miles or 7.5 million kilometers of Earth is known as a potentially hazardous object. This asteroid is moving at a velocity of 19932 km per hour. However, the asteroid will not impact the Earth and instead, it will fly by back into space. It will come back though.

After today, the next close approach of asteroid 2023 AE1 will be on January 23, 2032 at a distance of 10.06 million kilometers.

NASA's plans to safeguard the Earth from asteroids

Last year, NASA successfully tested its Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Mission spacecraft strike on a non-hazardous asteroid called Dimorphos in order to test planetary defence. The learnings from this asteroid attack will be used to protect Earth from asteroids that are heading for a collision with our planet. According to NASA, this is the world's first mission to deflect an asteroid in space.

How NASA track asteroids

Some of the best technologies of NASA help to track these dangerous asteroids. NASA uses optical and radio telescopes to determine the size, shape, rotation, and physical composition of asteroids. Moreover, with the help of planetary radar, performed by radio telescopes at NASA's Deep Space Network and the National Science Foundation's Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, detailed characterisation data of the asteroids are possible.

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First Published Date: 22 Jan, 14:48 IST
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