Behemoth 288-foot Asteroid 2023 JP2 hurtling towards Earth for close approach!
NASA is on alert as the colossal Asteroid 2023 JP2 is set to make a close approach with the planet today.
Scientists study asteroids to learn more about the early solar system and the conditions that existed when the planets were forming. Asteroids can also provide valuable resources such as water, metals, and other minerals. Until now, it was believed that water was already present on Earth from the earliest times. However, a recent study has made an astonishing discovery that doubts this very thought. The study has revealed that water may have originated on asteroids. Isn't that astonishing?
In separate news, NASA has warned against a gigantic asteroid that is set to come very close to Earth today. Check out all the details provided by NASA about its speed, its size relative to a really eye-catching human construct, and how close it will come to our planet.
Asteroid 2023 JP2 details
The asteroid, given the designation of Asteroid 2023 JP2 by NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), has particularly piqued the interest of scientists due to its sheer size. NASA estimates the asteroid to be nearly 288 feet wide, which makes it almost as big as a skyscraper!
In fact, it is bigger than the Big O Ferris wheel located in Tokyo. Due to its size, Asteroid 2023 JP2 could have huge destructive potential if it impacts the planet, especially if it crashes in a densely populated area.
The space agency further revealed that Asteroid 2023 JP2 will make its closest approach to Earth today, May 25, at a distance of 4.4 million kilometers. In fact, it is already dashing towards Earth, at a fearsome speed of 73688 kilometers per hour, which is much faster than a hypersonic ballistic missile! It belongs to the Apollo group of Near-Earth Asteroids, which are Earth-crossing space rocks with semi-major axes larger than Earth's.
Protection against asteroids with advanced tech
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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