Asteroid as big as a BUS is coming towards Earth TODAY; Watch it come to us, here is how
Asteroid watch: There is a bus-sized asteroid making one of the closest approaches to the Earth, says NASA. This might be the best opportunity to watch an asteroid skim past the sky. Find out how to watch it.
Asteroid watch: According to NASA, as many as four asteroids are headed towards the Earth today. However, among them one is very special. It is a 30-feet wide asteroid named 2022 GN1 which has gotten all astronomy enthusiasts excited. The reason is that this asteroid will be flying past the Earth at a distance of just 126,000 kilometers. While it may look like a large number, in terms of astronomical distances, it is very small. For reference, the Moon is three times farther away from Earth at 384,400 kilometers than this asteroid's expected closest approach. And that's why the astronomy community is eagerly awaiting this asteroid to watch it fly in real time. If you want to catch a glimpse of this asteroid too, then just read on.
The 2022 GN1 is a near Earth object or NEO, classified by NASA, as celestial bodies which come dangerously close to our planet. While at the moment, this asteroid does not pose any threat to us, things can change momentarily. And that is why the Planetary Defense Coordination Office or PDCO, a department by NASA, is constantly observing the asteroid. At its size of 30-feet, while it cannot cause large-scale destruction, it can still bring localized damage and send shock waves in nearby locations. In 2013, a similar asteroid exploded right above the surface of Chelyabinsk, Siberia, Russia and injured more than 1,500 people.
Asteroid watch: How to watch 2022 GN1
While the 2022 GN1 does pose a threat to the Earth, NASA has stated that the likelihood of it striking the Earth is low. And that's why it should be fine to bring out your telescope for an asteroid watching session and gaze at this space rock as it moves across the sky. The asteroid follows an interesting orbital path where its point of intersection with Earth will also mark its journey towards the peak of its perihelion. At its aphelion, the asteroid moves towards the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
In order to watch this asteroid, you would need a telescope, although you may have some success with a powerful binoculars and low light region given the less distance between the asteroid and the Earth. You can refer to NASA's small body database website to find the exact coordinates at any given time to know the location of the asteroid and how to watch it. Alternatively you can go to the website of The Virtual Telescope Project which will live stream the entire flyby of the asteroid. Click here to access the website.
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