Asteroid approaching today! Terrifying 220-foot space rock rushing towards Earth

    There is a big cause to worry as an enormous 220-foot wide asteroid is rushing towards Earth today, December 9. Know its speed, distance and trajectory, according to NASA.

    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Dec 09 2022, 10:29 IST
    From 393 feet to 29 feet long asteroids; 5 space rocks set for close approaches with Earth
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    1/5 Asteroid 2022 WO10 - NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office has red-flagged an asteroid named Asteroid 2022 WO10 due to its extremely close approach to the planet. The 29-foot asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth today, December 8 at a distance of 1.9 million kilometers per hour and is already on its way travelling at a speed of nearly 17108 kilometers per hour, which is more than the speed of a hypersonic ballistic missile! (Pixabay)
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    2/5 Asteroid 2022 WP11 - An asteroid, named Asteroid 2022 WP11, is on its way towards Earth and will make a close approach tomorrow, December 9. What’s shocking is that the asteroid is humongous, with a width between 180 feet and 393 feet! The Asteroid 2022 WP11 is expected to make its closest approach to the planet at a distance of 4.5 million kilometers at a speed of 62352 kilometers per hour, as per NASA. (Pixabay)
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    3/5 Asteroid 2022 XJ – This asteroid, with a size ranging between 39 feet and 91 feet, will make its close trip to Earth tomorrow, December 9, at a distance of nearly 2.6 million kilometers. The asteroid, known as Asteroid 2022 XJ, is already rushing towards Earth, travelling at a speed of 36605 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
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    4/5 Asteroid 2022 WW – Another asteroid named Asteroid 2022 WW is heading for Earth and will make a close approach on December 10. This asteroid, with a size between 75 feet and 167 feet, is heading for Earth at a blistering speed of 22177 kilometers per hour. It will miss Earth at a distance of 7.3 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
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    5/5 Asteroid 2019 XY – This week’s fifth asteroid, with a size ranging between 22 feet and 52 feet, is named Asteroid 2019 XY and will be making its closest Earth approach on December 10. It will come as close as 804,170 kilometers, according to the information provided by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The asteroid is also moving at a mind-numbing speed of 46387 kilometer per hour. (Pixabay)
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    This gigantic asteroid could make its Earth approach soon. (NASA JPL)

    Asteroids are ancient rubble left over from the early formation of our solar system about 4.6 billion years ago, according to NASA. They can generally be spotted within the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Interaction with a planet's gravitational field, especially as large as Jupiter, can knock the asteroid off-its orbit and send it hurtling in all directions. NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office keeps a check on these Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) for any potential collision with Earth and declares them as Potentially Hazardous Objects if they come within around 8 million kilometers of Earth.

    Now, the space agency has issued an alert against a very similar asteroid that is rushing towards the planet today, December 9.

    Asteroid 2022 WP11 key details

    NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office has red-flagged an asteroid named Asteroid 2022 WP11 due to its extremely close approach with the planet. It is absolutely gigantic with a width of 220 feet, making it nearly as big as a commercial aircraft! The asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth today, December 9, at a distance of 4.5 million kilometers per hour. It is already on its way towards the planet travelling at a speed of nearly 62352 kilometers per hour!

    According to the-sky.org, the Asteroid 2022 WP11 belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. It was discovered recently on November 30. This asteroid takes 1004 days to complete one trip around the Sun during which its maximum distance from the Sun is 440 million kilometers and nearest distance is 147 million kilometers.

    NASA's Asteroid-tracking tech

    The Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) uses its Sentry impact-monitoring system to continuously perform long-term analysis of possible future orbits of hazardous asteroids. CNEOS also has a scout system in place which continuously monitors the sky for new Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) which might potentially pose a threat to Earth, even before they have been confirmed as new discoveries.

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    First Published Date: 09 Dec, 10:29 IST
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