Asteroid warning! NASA reveals 40-foot asteroid set for close Earth approach today
A 40-foot asteroid is charging towards Earth and could make a close approach soon. NASA has revealed its details such as speed, distance and trajectory.
To study asteroids that are not in the asteroid belt and reveal those that are still unknown, NASA has the Lucy Space Mission in place. NASA launched the Lucy spacecraft on Oct. 16, 2021 from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. This is NASA's first space mission to study the Trojans, a group of asteroids which orbit the Sun in two groups, according to NASA. It is built to seek out trojan asteroids millions of kilometers from Earth.
With the help of these space and ground-based telescopes, NASA has revealed that an asteroid is dashing towards Earth today, and it is a big one.
Asteroid 2018 FE3 details
The asteroid, called Asteroid 2018 FE3, is already on its way towards Earth travelling at a staggering speed of 19605 kilometers per hour. It will make its closest approach to Earth at a distance of just 3.8 million kilometers.
NASA has also revealed the asteroid's size, estimating it at around 40 feet wide, which makes it almost as big as a house! The asteroid is expected to miss the planet.
Protection against asteroids
To counter these asteroids which head for Earth for potential impact, NASA has already carried out the testing of its DART Mission for planetary protection. The space agency crashed a spacecraft into an oncoming asteroid to successfully divert it from its path.
Now, ESA is also gearing up to build an early warning system for dangerous asteroids. Called NEOMIR (Near-Earth Object Mission in the InfraRed), the spacecraft would orbit between the Earth and the Sun at the L1 Lagrange Point, finding space rocks that otherwise get lost in the glare of the Sun, as per the ESA.
The NEOMIR mission will act as an early warning system for asteroids 20 meters and larger that cannot be seen from the ground.
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