Close encounter with asteroid soon! NASA reveals details of space rock racing towards Earth
NASA has revealed details of a potentially shocking close encounter with an asteroid that is hurtling toward Earth at breakneck speed.
As per NASA, the current known asteroid count is roughly 1,298,148. And now one of them is set to make an extremely close approach to Earth soon. NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) uses data collected by telescopes to determine the asteroid's most likely orbit around the Sun. To assess whether an impact is possible and narrow down where the true orbit may be, NASA's new Sentry II then uses a new algorithm and selects random points throughout the entire uncertainty region. This allows Sentry-II to zero in on more very low probability impact scenarios.
With the help of such advanced tech, an asteroid, designated as Asteroid 2018 BG5 has been observed heading for Earth and will come close in the next few days.
Asteroid 2018 BG5 will come very close to Earth on July 27. As per NASA, this space rock will come as close as 4.1 million kilometers during its closest approach. While this distance may seem considerable, it's relatively minor in terms of astronomical measurements, considering the massive size of the asteroid. The space rock is already on its way, traveling at a fearsome speed of 30094 kilometers per hour.
It belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids which are Earth-crossing space rocks with semi-major axes larger than Earth's. They are named after the humongous 1862 Apollo asteroid, discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in the 1930s.
Is Asteroid 2018 BG5 dangerous?
In terms of size, the asteroid is estimated to be around 180 feet wide and can be compared to an aircraft! Although NASA has revealed that an asteroid would have to be almost 96 km wide to completely wipe out life on Earth, smaller space rocks can still cause damage. That became evident when a 59 feet asteroid exploded over the city of Chelyabinsk in 2013, leaving over 1000 injured while also causing damage to nearly 8000 buildings.
Therefore, these close calls with asteroids highlight the importance of continued technological development in asteroid detection and monitoring programs, which help to ensure the safety of our planet from the potential impact of these space rocks.
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