Asteroid today: This terrifying space rock set to have VERY close encounter with Earth

NASA has issued yet another alert with another asteroid expected to pass Earth today closely. Will it crash or burn? Know what NASA said.

| Updated on: Sep 20 2022, 12:24 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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Worried of the asteroid that is headed for Earth today? Check out what NASA has to say about the asteroid. (Pixabay)

What if an asteroid is headed straight for a collision with the Earth? Will it cause annihilation on a small part of the planet or engulf it totally? Or will humanity survive? If you have ever had such questions, be ready to get them answered as NASA has a plan in place to protect the Earth from potential asteroid impact. NASA's $240 million Double Asteroid Detection Test or DART aims to smash a spacecraft into the Dimorphos asteroid to deflect it away from its path to gain greater knowledge as to what happens when a craft is crashed against a space rock. But before this test can take place, NASA has warned that an asteroid, today, is on its way to Earth.

Asteroid 2022 SW1

NASA has warned that an asteroid named Asteroid 2022 SW1 is heading dangerously for Earth today, September 20. The asteroid is already on its way travelling at a staggering speed of 36252 kilometers per hour. NASA says the asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth today at a distance of just 679,000 kilometers, making it one of the closest asteroid encounters we have had this month.

The terrifying Asteroid 2022 SW1 was discovered on September 18, 2022 and belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids in the main asteroid belt near Jupiter. The asteroid takes almost 1013 days to complete one orbit around the Sun during which its distance from the Sun at its farthest point is 451 million kilometers and at its nearest point is 139 million kilometers.

Did you know?

NASA has a mission in place to study the rising solar activity of the Sun. NASA's SunRISE mission, which stands for the Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment, is an upcoming mission expected to launch in 2024 to study and pinpoint how giant bursts of energetic particles originate from the Sun and evolve as they expand outward into space.

According to NASA, the SunRISE mission will have a radio telescope in orbit with an array of six toaster-size CubeSats that will work together to study solar activity. NASA says the six CubeSats will span roughly six miles across and fly slightly above geosynchronous orbit at 22,000 miles from Earth's surface.

The mission will observe low radio frequency emissions to better understand the generation of Solar Storms as well as other explosive space events. This research will help scientists forecast space weather, improve our understanding of how our Sun works, and may apply to studies of other stars.

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First Published Date: 20 Sep, 12:24 IST