Asteroid today: Colossal 285-foot asteroid just zoomed past Earth!

NASA has breathed a sigh of relief as a colossal 285-foot asteroid zoomed past Earth today.

| Updated on: Sep 28 2022, 10:05 IST
In Pics: Historic $300 mn NASA DART asteroid collision a success; 1st step to save Earth
1/5 DART mission is NASA’s $330 million first step to protect the planet against asteroids against potential impact. The aim of the mission was to smash a spacecraft into the Dimorphos asteroid to deflect it away from its path. This test will help scientists gain greater knowledge as to what happens when a craft is crashed against a space rock. (AP)
2/5 After months of anticipation, this test took place during today’s early hours when the DART spacecraft sacrificed itself by colliding with Dimorphos asteroid at 7:14 p.m. EDT. According to NASA, Dimorphos is an asteroid moonlet just 530 feet in width and orbits a larger asteroid called Didymos, nearly 5 times its size. (NASA)
3/5 NASA DART test was captured by a small companion satellite which followed the DART spacecraft to the target asteroid Dimorphos. The spacecraft’s camera is a cubeSAT called LICIACube (Light Italian CubeSat for Imaging Asteroids). The cubeSAT is made up of two key components, LUKE (LICIACube Unit Key Explorer) and LEIA (LICIACube Explorer Imaging for Asteroid), both of which capture key data from the collision. (Bloomberg)
4/5 European Space Agency’s Hera spacecraft will fly to the asteroid to survey the aftermath of impact and gather information such as the size of impact crater, the mass of the asteroid and its make-up and internal structure using its CubeSAT satellite to conduct a radar probe of the asteroid after the collision (ESA)
5/5 Tech behind DART spacecraft - Didymos Reconnaissance and Asteroid Camera for Optical navigation (DRACO) 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. (NASA )
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This huge asteroid just missed Earth. Know what the space agency said. (Pixabay)

Yesterday with its DART mission, NASA successfully crashed a spacecraft into asteroid Dimorphos to try and deflect it from its course. While the asteroid collision was successful, there is no clarity as yet whether the asteroid was actually deflected. For that, the data will need to be studied over the next few weeks. Meanwhile, NASA has informed that a huge asteroid just missed the planet during today's early hours.

Asteroid 2022 SP4's close approach with Earth

NASA has revealed that a huge asteroid ranging anywhere between 128 feet and 285 feet just missed the planet during today's early hours. Named Asteroid 2022 SP4, it is one of the largest asteroids that have passed by Earth closely this month. According to NASA, the asteroid is part of the Apollo group of asteroids. It made its close approach with Earth at a distance of 5.9 million kilometers at a staggering speed of 46800 kilometers per hour.

According to, the Asteroid 2022 SP4 was discovered very recently on September 18, 2022 and belongs to the main Apollo group of asteroids. Asteroid 2022 RJ2 takes 537 days to complete one orbit around the Sun.

The asteroid's farthest point from the Sun during its orbit is 238 million kilometers, and the nearest point to the Sun is 149 million kilometers. The distance of the asteroid 2022 SP4 from Earth is currently 5.97 million kilometers, equivalent to 0.04 astronomical units. An astronomical unit (AU, or au) is basically a unit of length equal to the average, or mean, distance between Earth and the Sun, that is, 149,597,870.7 kilometers.

Did you know?

Most of the asteroids are observed with the help of the NEOWISE Project which repurposed NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) to work as a survey telescope and scan the sky for Near-Earth Objects. NASA then uses its ground-based radar to gather precise data about the asteroid's path and its characteristics. NEOWISE has identified hundreds of others while scanning the skies at near-infrared wavelengths of light from its polar orbit around Earth till date.

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First Published Date: 28 Sep, 10:05 IST
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