Beware! NASA telescope reveals 5 terrifying asteroids will come dangerously close to the Earth | Tech News

Beware! NASA telescope reveals 5 terrifying asteroids will come dangerously close to the Earth

There are five gigantic asteroids which will approach the Earth at a dangerously close distance next week. The NASA Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) telescope has detected them ahead of time. Know how they were detected and the threat they pose.

| Updated on: Sep 10 2022, 15:28 IST
What is an Asteroid? NASA defines what these dangerous objects in sky are
1/5 An asteroid is a small, rocky object hurtling through the sky. When seen in a telescope, an asteroid appears as a point of light, according to NASA. Most asteroids are found in a ring between the orbit of Mars and Jupiter called the asteroid belt. (Pixabay)
2/5 Asteroids have several shapes, they may be spherical, elongated, or oddly shaped. Some asteroids even have their own satellites! Asteroids also vary in size. From Vesta, the largest at about 530 kilometers in diameter, to asteroids that are less than 10 meters in diameter, they can be found in all shapes and sizes. (Pixabay)
3/5 Asteroids are also called minor planets. These celestial objects are the remains of the period during which our solar system formed, over 4.6 billion years ago. According to NASA, the current known asteroid count is 1,113,527. (HT_PRINT)
4/5 Asteroids can potentially threaten life on Earth. Apocalyptic movies like Deep Impact, Armageddon and Don't Look Up have always explored the ‘What Ifs’ of world destruction, with the most famous means of world destruction being asteroids crashing into Earth. (Pixabay)
5/5 To counter this, NASA had readied itself to potentially defend the planet against a very similar threat that is posed by asteroids by preparing the DART mission. It involves smashing a spacecraft into an oncoming asteroid at a speed of nearly 23,000kph. This knowledge will be used if an actual asteroid threatens to crash against the Earth. It will help avert an Armageddon on Earth and perhaps, even save humanity from extinction. (NASA)
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NASA WISE telescope identifies five threatening asteroids that will come close to the Earth next week. (HT_PRINT)

There are hundreds of asteroids roaming around the Earth in the solar system. Some of them are as small as a pebble and some are bigger than the Moon. But a majority of them never come close to the Earth's vicinity. Those which do are called Near-Earth objects (NEO) and become objects of interest for scientists because they have the potential to strike the Earth someday and cause great destruction. NASA uses an infrared-based space telescope called Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) to detect such objects ahead of time. The same telescope has revealed that the next week is going to be terrifying for Earth as five massive asteroids will be making close approaches and if any of them strike us, it can be destructive. Check the list of asteroids set to arrive close to Earth and how NASA is able to predict these asteroids' trajectory.

2022 QF

Discovered in August 2022, this is a 140-foot wide asteroid which will make its closest approach to the Earth tomorrow, September 11. The asteroid has been classified as a NEO asteroid. The asteroid has been predicted to come as close as 7.3 million kilometers to the Earth and will flyby at the speed of 30,384 kmph. The current predictions of NASA state that the asteroid will make a safe passage across our planet.

2008 RW

Spotted in 2008, this asteroid is gigantic at a size of 310-foot. For reference, this is bigger than the Qutub Minar (238-foot). This asteroid will come closest to the Earth on September 12. It will also come closer than the previous asteroid at 6.7 million kilometers to our planet. It is moving at the speed of 36,756 kmph and any last moment deflection will send it speeding towards our planet.

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2022 QD1

This 242-foot wide asteroid was also discovered in August 2022. Capable of destroying an entire city with just the impact damage, this asteroid will be approaching the Earth on September 16 and coming as close as 7.4 million kilometers to the Earth. The asteroid is traveling at the speed of 34,200 kmph.

2005 RX3

This gigantic 403-foot wide asteroid was discovered in 2005. It will be coming to our neighborhood on September 18 and will be coming dangerously close to the Earth at a distance of 4.7 million kilometers. It is also the fastest of the group, traveling at the speed of 62,856 kmph.

2022 QB37

Accompanying 2005 RX3 on September 18 will be this 183-foot wide asteroid which will come as close as 6.5 million kilometers to the Earth. It is traveling at the speed of 33,192 kmph.

How NASA WISE predicts the path of these asteroids

The NASA WISE or NEOWISE telescope uses infrared light to keep tabs of the heat signature of these asteroids. As a result, it does not need to visually see it but observe it for a few days and map the trajectory to know all the data including speed, orbital path and the exact date when it will come close to the Earth.

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First Published Date: 10 Sep, 15:28 IST