Asteroid Alert: Massive asteroid hurtling towards Earth! Watch out on Oct 2

NASA has warned that a huge asteroid is hurtling dangerously towards Earth. Will it be a planet-killer?

| Updated on: Sep 30 2022, 10:36 IST
Wow! Second by second account of NASA craft crashing on Asteroid; check in photos
1/5 NASA’s Double Asteroid Detection Test or DART test is a nearly $330 million mission to smash a spacecraft into the Dimorphos asteroid to deflect it away from its path. NASA had already sent the DART spacecraft to space in November, 2021 which included a satellite made by the Italian Space Agency. (Bloomberg)
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2/5 This stunning photo was captured 2.5 minutes before collision with the target Asteroid Dimorphos. According to NASA, the target asteroid Dimorphos is an asteroid moonlet nearly 530 feet in width. Dimorphos orbits a larger asteroid called Didymos, nearly 5 times its size. (Reuters)
3/5 This amazing image was captured just 11 seconds before the impact. captured through cameras of a small companion satellite, which was the spacecraft’s camera called cubeSAT LICIACube (Light Italian CubeSat for Imaging Asteroids), was ejected from the DART spacecraft and followed it, 3 minutes behind, to the target asteroid Dimorphos. (Reuters)
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4/5 This extremely close-up image of the surface of target asteroid Dimorphos was captured just 2 seconds before impact with the asteroid. The DRACO system along with Small-body Maneuvering Autonomous Real Time Navigation (SMART Nav) algorithms aboard the DART spacecraft allowed it to distinguish between the larger Didymos and its target Dimorphos, striking the asteroid with precision accuracy, according to NASA. (Reuters)
5/5 Although the spacecraft successfully collided with the asteroid, there is no clarity as yet whether the asteroid was actually deflected. To confirm that, European Space Agency’s Hera spacecraft will observe the impact caused by the collision of DART spacecraft and Dimorphos asteroid. The space agency has already launched its Hera spacecraft which will travel to the same asteroid to observe the impact. (ESA)
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Know what NASA said about this asteroid hurtling towards Earth. (NASA)

Another day, another asteroid! NASA has issued an asteroid alert against a space rock that is hurtling towards Earth. The month of September has already seen more than 30 asteroid flybys and October is expected to continue the trend. Although these asteroids pass Earth at a relatively safe distance, they are still classified as Potentially Hazardous Objects due to their close proximity with Earth. NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office is responsible for keeping an eye on the sky for rogue asteroids which could potentially threaten Earth. The organisation has now red-flagged Asteroid 2022 SB9 as it heads for close approach with the planet.

Key details about Asteroid 2022 SB9

According to NASA, Asteroid 2022 SB9 is already on its way towards the planet, travelling at a staggering speed of 32400 kilometers per hour. The asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth on October 2, at a distance of just 2 million kilometers.

According to, Asteroid 2022 SB9 belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids, located in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The asteroid takes 1590 days to complete one orbit around Earth. During this trip, its maximum distance from the Sun is 649 million kilometers and its minimum distance is 149 million kilometers.

NASA's tech behind asteroid tracking

To track these asteroids, NASA conducts surveys done using its ground-based telescopes such as the Pans-STARRS1 in Maui, Hawaii, as well to identify thousands of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs). NASA can track the orbital path of the asteroid using this infrared data and can even predict its orbit years into the future. As of now, nearly 28,000 near-Earth asteroids have been discovered using various survey telescopes which track objects in the sky.

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. NASA can track the orbital path of the asteroid using this infrared data and can even predict its orbit years into the future.

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First Published Date: 30 Sep, 10:30 IST