Asteroid today: Dangerous asteroid hurtling towards Earth, NASA says

Space agency NASA has issued another warning about an asteroid which is hurtling towards Earth today. Does it pose a threat to the planet?

| Updated on: Sep 26 2022, 11:14 IST
NASA DART Mission in pics: Amazing Attack on Asteroid!
1/6 NASA with its Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Mission spacecraft is all set to collide with a non-hazardous asteroid called Dimorphos in order to test planetary defence on Monday, September 26. The learnings from this asteroid attack will be used to protect Earth from asteroids that are heading for a collision with our planet. According to NASA, this will be the world's first mission to deflect an asteroid in space. NASA’s DART, built and managed by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, will demonstrate and test asteroid deflection by kinetic impactor. (Bloomberg)
2/6 Dimorphos, the asteroid moonlet of Didymos poses no threat to Earth. The DART spacecraft had recently got its first look at Didymos, the double-asteroid system that includes its target, Dimorphos. It is being said that in 2024, the European Space Agency (ESA) will send a space probe to Dimorphos as part of the space mission HERA. The aim of the mission is to visually investigate the aftermath of the DART probe impact. (NASA )
3/6 When to watch: The live broadcast of the event will start on September 26 at 6 p.m., EDT. The spacecraft will impact its target asteroid at 7:14 p.m. EDT, while at 8:00 p.m. ET, the research organisation will host a post-impact press briefing. (AFP)
4/6 Where to watch: The historic collision can be watched live online as NASA will be broadcasting the same. NASA will broadcast the live coverage of DART’s impact with the asteroid Dimorphos on NASA TV and its several social media handles like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. (AFP)
DART spacecraft
5/6 About asteroids: According to NASA, More than 100 tons of dust and sand sized particles are bombarded towards Earth everyday. While, about once a year, an automobile-sized asteroid hits Earth's atmosphere, creates an impressive fireball, and burns up before reaching the surface. Every 2,000 years or so, a meteoroid the size of a football field hits Earth and causes significant damage to the area. Only once every few million years, an object large enough to threaten Earth's civilization comes along. Impact craters on Earth, the moon and other planetary bodies are evidence of these occurrences. (AP)
6/6 Space rocks smaller than about 25 meters (about 82 feet) will most likely burn up as they enter the Earth's atmosphere and cause little or no damage. By comparison, asteroids that populate the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and pose no threat to Earth, can be as big as 940 kilometers (about 583 miles) across. (MINT_PRINT)
Asteroid and Earth
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Could the asteroid, which is speeding towards Earth, impact today? Know what NASA said about the asteroid. (Pixabay)

September has been a month full of asteroid flybys with nearly 30 asteroids passing by Earth and that too in uncomfortably close proximity. Astonishingly, four asteroids passed by Earth closely yesterday alone, making it one of the most frequent asteroid flyby periods we have had this month. NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office keeps an eye on these space rocks for any potential danger to Earth. Now, NASA has warned that another asteroid is heading our way.

Asteroid 2022 SY4 hurtling towards Earth today, Sept 26

Most of the asteroids are observed with the help of the top technologically empowered gadgets. In this instance, NEOWISE Project repurposed NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer 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.

Using these instruments, NASA has issued a warning about an asteroid named Asteroid 2022 SY4 which is hurtling towards the planet. The asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth today, September 26, at a distance of just 920,000 kilometers. The asteroid is already on its way towards us, travelling at a staggering speed of 42,228 kilometers per hour, according to NASAs

Asteroid 2022 SY4
Trajectory of Asteroid 2022 SY4 (NASA)
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Trajectory of Asteroid 2022 SY4 (NASA)

According to, Asteroid 2022 SY4 was discovered very recently on September 20 and belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids orbiting in the main asteroid belt near Jupiter. The asteroid takes almost 755 days to complete one orbit around the Sun during which its maximum distance from the Sun is 362 million kilometers and nearest distance is 124 million kilometers.

Tech behind asteroid tracking

NASA keeps a watch on these asteroids by studying data collected by various telescopes and observatories such as the Pan-STARRS, the Catalina Sky Survey and the NEOWISE telescope. NASA also has a NEO Surveyor mission planned for launch in 2026 to gain even greater in-depth data using a new orbiter.

NASA also has a new impact monitoring system in place which uses an algorithm called Sentry-II to calculate the impact risk of Near-Earth Objects. NASA can track the orbital path of the asteroid using this infrared data and can even predict its orbit years into the future.

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First Published Date: 26 Sep, 10:12 IST