Asteroid today: Dangerous space rock hurtling towards Earth! Clocked at 54972 kmph

    NASA has warned that an aircraft-sized asteroid is hurtling towards Earth today! How dangerous is it?
    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Oct 03 2022, 11:50 IST
    This asteroid is worth $10,000 Quadrillion
    16 Psyche
    1/6 hereas other asteroids are generally made up of ice or rocks, this unique asteroid is made up of nickel, which is one of the building blocks of the solar system. One of the biggest asteroids in our Solar System, the 16 Psyche asteroid is made up of gold, nickel and iron deposits and is supposedly worth more than Earth's economy. The asteroid is worth nearly $10,000 Quadrillion. (NASA)
    Asteroid and Earth
    2/6 The Psyche Mission will also help scientists to study and understand iron cores, a previously unexplored building block of planet formation. The 16 Psyche asteroid mission is a part of NASA's Discovery missions. (Pixabay)
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    3/6 The findings of this mission could enable scientists to develop a way of using asteroids as resources. Asteroids could come in handy when building structures in space, such as bases on other planets or even the Moon. Due to their 85 percent metal structure, they could be an excellent source of minerals. It is even said that the raw materials extracted from asteroids could even exceed the metal reserves present on Earth. (NASA)
    4/6 The mission has been in the phase known as assembly, test, and launch operations since March 2021. Since the launch window is limited, scientists and engineers have worked round the clock in order to finish the spacecraft's assembly in time. However, due to unexpected software issues, the mission has now been delayed and pushed to 2023. (NASA)
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    5/6 NASA said, "Due to the late delivery of the spacecraft's flight software and testing equipment, NASA does not have sufficient time to complete the testing needed ahead of its remaining launch period this year, which ends on October 11. The mission team needs more time to ensure that the software will function properly in flight." (NASA)
    6/6 In order to reach the asteroid, the spacecraft will fly by Mars for a gravity assist in May 2023 and, in early 2026, orbit around asteroid Psyche in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. NASA says that the Psyche mission is expected to launch in both 2023 and 2024, but due to the uncertainties, the exact dates of these potential launch periods are yet to be determined. (NASA)
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    This huge asteroid is set to fly past Earth today at a close distance. (Pixabay)

    NASA has deployed its latest and most complicated technological assets to keep a close watch on the dangerous asteroids coming towards Earth. NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office is responsible for monitoring the skies and keeping a watch on various Near-Earth Objects (NEOs). If any celestial object is at risk of Earth impact, it red flags and issues the alert. NASA has red flagged an asteroid named Asteroid 2022 SC9 which is expected to fly past Earth at an extremely close distance. Although the asteroid is not heading for impact with Earth, it was still classified as a Potentially Hazardous Object due to the close proximity with which it will pass by Earth. It could head for impact with Earth if it deviates from its path due to interaction with Earth's gravitational field or some other extraneous force.

    Asteroids which come closer than 8 million kilometers from Earth's orbit are classified as potentially hazardous asteroids, according to NASA.

    Asteroid 2022 SC9 hurtling towards Earth today, Oct 3

    NASA has warned that Asteroid 2022 SC9 is on its way towards Earth travelling at a staggering speed of 54972 kilometers per hour. It will make its closest approach to the planet today, at a distance of 5 million kilometers. According to NASA, Asteroid 2022 SC9 is almost the size of a commercial aircraft with a width of nearly 140 feet.

    According to, Asteroid 2022 SC9 belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids which are a group of near-Earth asteroids named after the humongous 1862 Apollo asteroid, discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in the 1930s. Asteroid 2022 SC9 orbits the Sun in around 466 days. During this trip, its farthest point from the Sun is at 264 million kilometers and its nearest point is 88 million kilometers.

    After today's flyby, Asteroid 2022 SC9's next close approach with Earth will take place on October 6, 2082, at a distance of around 11.28 million kilometers.

    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.

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    First Published Date: 03 Oct, 11:44 IST
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