BEWARE! 65-foot asteroid set to get dangerously close to Earth today, warns NASA

    NASA warns that a 65-foot wide asteroid will be coming dangerously close to the Earth today, November 26. Know the consequences that a gigantic asteroid has.
    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Nov 26 2022, 12:47 IST
    Asteroid fun facts in pics: NASA reveals all you need to know
    Asteroid and Earth
    1/5 Space is full of objects, out of which only a few have been discovered. Asteroids are some of these objects. If you are not aware about the dangerous objects called asteroids, here are some facts you should know. First, did you know that asteroids are sometimes called minor planets? Well, they are. (Pixabay)
    2/5 Differences between an Asteroid, Comet, Meteoroid, Meteor and Meteorite: According to the information provided by NASA, Asteroid is a relatively small, inactive, rocky body orbiting the Sun. Comet is a relatively small, at times active, object whose ice can vaporize in sunlight forming an atmosphere (coma) of dust and gas and, sometimes, a tail of dust and/or gas. Meteoroid is a small particle from a comet or asteroid orbiting the Sun. Meteor is the light phenomena which results when a meteoroid enters the Earth's atmosphere and vaporizes, in short, a shooting star. While, Meteorite is a meteoroid that survives its passage through the Earth's atmosphere and lands upon the Earth's surface. (NASA)
    3/5 Asteroid: Size, frequency and impact- More than 100 tons of dust and sand sized particles are bombarded towards Earth everyday, according to NASA. While, about once a year, an automobile-sized asteroid hits Earth's atmosphere, creates an impressive fireball, and burns up before reaching the surface. Every 2,000 years or so, a meteoroid the size of a football field hits Earth and causes significant damage to the area. Only once every few million years, an object large enough to threaten Earth's civilization comes along. Impact craters on Earth, the moon and other planetary bodies are evidence of these occurrences. Space rocks smaller than about 25 meters (about 82 feet) will most likely burn up as they enter the Earth's atmosphere and cause little or no damage. By comparison, asteroids that populate the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, and pose no threat to Earth, can be as big as 940 kilometers (about 583 miles) across. (NASA)
    4/5 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. 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 times. (Pixabay)
    5/5 What is NASA doing to find and learn more about potentially hazardous asteroids and comets? NASA has established a Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO), managed in the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The PDCO ensures the early detection of potentially hazardous objects (PHOs) - asteroids and comets whose orbits are predicted to bring them within 0.05 Astronomical Units of Earth (5 million miles or 8 million kilometers) and of a size large enough to reach Earth's surface - that is, greater than approximately 30 to 50 meters. NASA tracks and characterizes these objects and issues warnings about potential impacts, providing timely and accurate information. NASA also leads the coordination of U.S. Government planning for response to an actual impact threat. (AFP)
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    NASA reports that the dangerous asteroid 2022 UD72 is headed towards the Earth today. (Pixabay)

    When it comes to space, both exploration and protection is equally important for scientists and space agencies. That is why before the Artemis-1 mission, which is aiming to send crewed spacecraft back to the Moon to explore its polar region, NASA took up the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) where a spacecraft was used to change the path of an asteroid. And the reason this test was done was because of many asteroids which threaten the Earth with their potential to destroy cities and even countries. One such asteroid will be paying a visit to the Earth today itself, November 26. Read on to know whether an asteroid strike is possible.

    Scary asteroid to come very close to the Earth

    The Planetary Defense of NASA is made up of multiple departments, all of which are tasked with monitoring the Near-Earth Objects (NEO). These departments include Center for Near Earth Objects Studies (CNEOS), Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and Small-Body database. The cumulative data from these departments has revealed quite a bit about this space rock. The asteroid is named 2022 UD72. It was first discovered recently in October 2022, and hence the four digit number in its name. The 65-foot asteroid will be coming as close as 4 million kilometers to the Earth. While that may seem like a large distance, traveling at a speed of 15,408 kilometers per hour, it can close that gap within days in case there is a last moment deflection.

    However, the prediction by NASA at the moment is that there is little chance that 2022 UD72 will strike the Earth. It is expected that the asteroid will make a safe passage. However, various instruments will be monitoring it till it is at a safe distance from us.

    NASA's asteroid tracking technology

    Ever since NASA understood the risk of the near-Earth objects (NEO), it has dedicated itself to track and monitor as many space rocks in the inner circle of the solar system as possible. Using the prowess of JPL and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) telescope, the US space agency collects data for over 20,000 asteroids.

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    First Published Date: 26 Nov, 12:46 IST
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