Asteroid today: 100-foot Planet-killer space rock hurtling towards Earth! NASA alerts
Another day another asteroid heading for Earth, it has been the story of this month so far. 5 asteroids have passed by Earth closely within the last two days and now NASA has issued an alert that one more is already on its way. Asteroids are Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) which are often found orbiting the Sun in the main asteroid belt near Jupiter. Asteroids are the most common NEOs which come near the Earth's orbit. Most of them burn up and disintegrate before reaching the planet but some can still pass through.
Asteroid 2022 SK1 hurtling towards Earth today
Asteroid 2020 SK1 is part of the Apollo group of asteroids. According to the-sky.org, this asteroid takes almost 734 days to complete one orbit of the Sun, during which its farthest distance from the Sun is 295 million kilometers and nearest distance is 151 million kilometers.
Asteroid 2020 SK1 is heading for Earth today, September 22 at a blistering speed of 30,204 kilometers per hour, according to NASA. This 100 feet wide asteroid will make its closest approach to the planet at a distance of nearly 2.7 million kilometers. Although Asteroid 2020 SK1 is not expected to impact the Earth, it has still been classified as a Potentially Hazardous Object due to the close proximity by which it will pass Earth.
A slight deviation in its path due to interaction with the planet's gravitational field could change its trajectory and send it hurtling towards the Earth.
How is an Asteroid Orbit Calculated?
An asteroid's orbit is computed by finding the elliptical path about the sun that best fits the available observations of the object using various space and ground-based telescopes such as NASA's NEOWISE telescope and its brand-new Sentry II algorithm. That is, the object's computed path about the Sun is adjusted until the predictions of where the asteroid should have appeared in the sky at several observed times match the positions where the object was actually observed to be at those same time.