Asteroid today: Monstrous 918-foot space rock nearing Earth today, NASA says

This huge asteroid Is zooming towards Earth, says NASA. It will come worryingly close to Earth today.

| Updated on: Nov 23 2022, 11:10 IST
Are near-Earth objects DANGEROUS? Know what NASA says about scary comets, asteroids
1/5 Earth has objects near it, which sometimes get attracted towards the planet because of its gravitational pull. Of course, not every near-Earth object manages to reach the surface of the planet. The object needs to be large enough to survive its fiery journey through the atmosphere of the Earth. (Pixabay)
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2/5 What is a near-Earth object? Asteroids or comets that can pass within 30 million miles or 50 million kilometers of Earth's orbit are known as near-Earth objects or NEO. According to NASA, "A near-Earth object (NEO) is an asteroid or comet whose orbit brings it within a zone approximately 121 million miles (195 million kilometers) from the Sun, meaning that it can pass within about 30 million miles (50 million kilometers) of Earth’s orbit." (Pixabay)
3/5 NASA further informed that the vast majority of NEOs that enter Earth’s atmosphere disintegrate before reaching the surface (and more than 100 tons of dust particles disintegrate in Earth’s atmosphere daily). Those NEOs that are larger than around 98 to 164 feet (30 to 50 meters) in size could cause widespread damage in and around their impact sites. Apart from NEOs, there is another category that NASA uses. These are the potentially hazardous objects (PHO). These are near-Earth objects whose orbit brings them within 4.7 million miles (7.5 million km) of Earth’s orbit, or is greater than 500 feet (140 meters) in size. (Pixabay)
4/5 The highest risk of impact for a known asteroid is a 1 in 714 chance of impact by an asteroid designated 2009 FD in 2185. This means that the possibility that it could impact then is less than 0.2 percent. NASA said, "One asteroid that NASA is studying up close, called Bennu, has a 1/2700 chance of impacting Earth between 2175 and 2195. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will complete a 2-year investigation of Bennu before plucking a sample of asteroid material off its surface and delivering it back to Earth." (Pixabay)
5/5 How can we prevent an asteroid from hitting Earth? Currently, an asteroid impact is the only natural disaster that NASA might be able to prevent. There are a few methods that NASA is studying to deflect an asteroid on a course to impact Earth. One of these techniques is called a gravity tractor—it involves a spacecraft that would rendezvous with an asteroid (but not land on its surface) and maintain its relative, optimal position to use the mutual gravity attraction between the satellite and the asteroid to slowly alter the course of the asteroid. (Pixabay)
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This colossal asteroid is approaching Earth stunningly fast. (Pixabay)

Asteroids come in all shapes and sizes, with the largest being 530-kilometer in diameter called Vesta. Others are smaller at around 100-foot and less. Although NASA scientists estimate that an asteroid would have to be about 96 km wide to completely and utterly wipe out life on Earth, smaller asteroids also have the potential to cause damage up to some extent, even destroy vast regions, which will have catastrophic impact on the atmosphere, causing a tragedy of unimaginable proportions. Unlike smaller asteroids which often stray towards Earth, larger space rocks rarely fly past the planet at close distances, but now, NASA has warned that a truly monstrous asteroid is on its way! This 980-foot asteroid is simply terrifying.

Asteroid 2005 LW3 key details

NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office, which keeps an eye on Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) for potential asteroid impact has warned that a monstrous asteroid is hurtling towards Earth today. NEOs which come within 8 million kilometers of Earth are classified as Potentially Hazardous Objects by NASA or even Potentially Hazardous Asteroids, as they pose a massive risk to Earth if they get caught within the planet's gravitational field which can send them tumbling towards our planet.

Asteroid 2005 LW3 is one such asteroid which is on its way towards Earth today, November 23. It will make its closest approach to Earth at a distance of just 1.1 million kilometers. Asteroid 2005 LW3 is huge, ranging anywhere between 426 feet and 918 feet in size! NASA has warned that the space rock is already on its way towards the planet, travelling at a staggering speed of 48580 kilometers per hour.

According to, the Asteroid 2005 LW3 belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. It was discovered way back on June 5, 2005. This asteroid takes 625 days to complete one trip around the Sun during which its maximum distance from the Sun is 313 million kilometers and nearest distance is 115 million kilometers.

Asteroid impact sites identified using CSI tech

A team of international researchers identified the impact sites of asteroids using CSI crime solving techniques. According to the research, only 30 percent of Holocene asteroid impact craters have been identified in the last 11,650 years. The researchers used charcoal samples from crater sites to identify the asteroid impact.

A recent article published in Geological Society of America's journal Geology explains that the bodies of organisms which died due to the asteroid impact can be analyzed to find out the extent of damage caused by the asteroid impact. By studying how an organism died, researchers can find out the conditions in which they were killed, which reflects the properties of an asteroid.

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First Published Date: 23 Nov, 10:30 IST