Asteroid, larger than the Statue of Unity, is coming dangerously close to the Earth, says NASA
According to NASA, a 700-feet wide asteroid is headed towards the Earth today, August 4. Does it pose a threat on our planet and should we be concerned? Find out.
It feels like the Earth is being bombarded with asteroids lately. We are witnessing large asteroids passing our planet left and right almost every single day. Last weekend, two asteroids came dangerously close to our planet on consecutive days. Then, on August 3, a 1,200-feet wide massive asteroid zoomed past our planet. And now, another 700-feet wide asteroid is speeding towards us. And this one can spell trouble for us because it will be coming closer to the Earth than any other asteroid recently. So, the question is how many times more can the Earth ride its own luck? Or is this the time when we finally witness a disastrous asteroid strike? Read on to find out.
The report comes from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory's website. According to them, the asteroid 2022 OE02 is a 700-feet or 213-meters wide asteroid. For reference, this is larger than the Statue of Unity (182 meters) situated in Gujarat. The asteroid is predicted to come as close as 3.2 million miles close to the Earth. If you feel this distance is too large to worry about, then just know that considering the astronomical speed of these celestial objects, this distance can be covered in a short amount of time, if a deviation to the asteroid took place for some reason.
700-feet wide asteroid zooming in on the Earth
The asteroid 2022 OE02 has been classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid by NASA. This classification is given to those near-Earth objects (NEO), which are big enough to pose a threat for our planet. At its size, this asteroid can do some serious damage to our planet, if it ends up making an impact. This is the first time this asteroid has been spotted and that's why not much is known about it. We do know that it has an abnormally elongated orbit where its perihelion is between Mercury and Venus and its aphelion is near the orbit of Jupiter. Despite the low data, latest prediction models suggest that the asteroid is expected to make a safe passage across the Earth.
To protect the Earth from any such future threats, NASA is conducting a DART mission, which will give it the capabilities of sending rockets to push an incoming asteroid slightly and change its trajectory to protect the planet.