Colossal 2200-foot asteroid dashing towards Earth, says NASA; Close approach today

Asteroid 2012 KY3 has been predicted to pass Earth at a relatively close distance today, and it is colossal in size.

| Updated on: Apr 13 2023, 09:28 IST
NASA Alert! 5 asteroids zooming towards Earth, including one that is 250 foot wide
1/6 While some asteroids can be detected by NASA's astronomers, others can unexpectedly hit Earth without being detected. Any asteroid that comes within 4.6 million miles or 7.5 million kilometres of Earth, or measures larger than approximately 150 meters, is considered a potentially hazardous object and is flagged by NASA. (Pixabay)
2/6 Now, NASA has red-flagged an asteroid, named Asteroid 2022 UF4, which is dangerously heading for Earth today, October 27. NASA has warned that Asteroid 2022 UF4 is nearly 140 feet wide, which is nearly the size of a commercial aircraft. (Pixabay)
3/6 There is a double asteroid attack today! Another 110-foot asteroid 2023 FT1 will come around 4.64 million miles to Earth. Moreover, it will be hurtling toward Earth at a speed of 23790 km per hour. (Pixabay)
4/6 On April 11, there is a giant airplane-sized asteroid named 2023 GG which is zooming towards Earth at a blistering speed of 38102 km per hour, CNEOS data mentioned. It is a 250-foot-wide asteroid that will come as close as 0.946 million miles to the Earth. (Pixabay)
5/6 Now, NASA has spotted five giant monster rocks approaching Earth. One of which is dubbed as 2023 FG5 which is 77-foot wide and will make the closest approach of 2.26 million miles from Earth today. (Wikimedia Commons)
6/6 However, the closest of them all is a 66-foot wide Asteroid 2023 FS10 which is hurtling towards at a velocity of 27376 kmph to come as close as just 0.665 million miles to Earth.   (Pixabay)
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Asteroid 2012 KY3 belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids. (Pixabay)

NASA defines Near-Earth Asteroids as celestial bodies that orbit the Sun and approach the Earth's orbit. These asteroids can pose a danger to our planet if they collide with it, resulting in significant damage. To prevent potential impact and damage, NASA, ESA, and other space agencies closely monitor any Potentially Hazardous Objects. Currently, these agencies are on high alert as an asteroid is projected to approach Earth as soon as today, and it is colossal!

Asteroid 2012 KY3 information

The asteroid has been named Asteroid 2012 KY3 by NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies. Asteroid 2012 KY3 will pass Earth today, April 13, at a distance of 4.7 million kilometers. In fact, it is already rushing towards the planet, travelling at a fearsome speed of 63186 kilometers per hour.

What's shocking about the asteroid is its colossal size. NASA has estimated Asteroid 2012 KY3 to be nearly 2200 feet, which is about twice the height of the Empire State Building! It belongs to the Apollo group of asteroids.

This asteroid has been classified as a Potentially Hazardous Object. NASA defines them as celestial objects 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.

How is an Asteroid's 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 using various space and ground-based telescopes such as NASA's NEOWISE telescope and its brand-new Sentry II algorithm. 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 observed to be at those same time.

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First Published Date: 13 Apr, 08:53 IST