Dangerous? 44-foot asteroid comes calling on Earth today; NASA reveals how close it will get

A 44-foot asteroid is zooming towards planet Earth today along with a small 15-foot car-sized rock. Here is what NASA informs.

| Updated on: Mar 19 2023, 10:57 IST
Best NASA Astronomy Pictures of the Week: Soul Nebula, Omega Centauri and more
1/5 A Colourful Rainbow (March 13) - It is an image of a rainbow backdropping a tree. The reason the rainbow can be seen behind the tree is because its position depends on the observer. The picture was captured by published landscape and wildlife photographer Eric Houck in early January near Knights Ferry, California, USA. (NASA/Eric Houck)
2/5 Stellar Soul Nebula (March 14) - The picture mesmerizing snapshot of IC 1848, also known as the Soul Nebula. It is an open cluster of stars spanning about 150 light-years across and located 6500 light-years away. It lies in the constellation Cassiopeia alongside another Nebula known as the Heart Nebula. Together, both these Nebulae form the Heart & Soul Nebulae. (NASA/Jose Jimenez)
3/5 Venus-Jupiter Conjunction (March 15) - The picture shows the Venus-Jupiter conjunction captured in Wiltingen, Germany. This amazing phenomenon was captured by astrophotographer Michael Luy from the Trier Observatory. While Venus is the hottest planet, Jupiter is a massive gas giant. In fact, it is so big that you can fit almost 1400 Venuses in Jupiter. This also means that Venus is much closer to Earth than Jupiter. (NASA/Michael Luy)
4/5 Stars of Omega Centauri (March 16) - It is a snapshot of millions of stars in the Omega Centauri star cluster. Also known as NGC 5139, Omega Centauri is located about 15000 light-years away in the constellation Centaurus. It was the first non-stellar object identified by English astronomer Edmond Halley 1677. (NASA/Neil Corke(Heaven's Mirror Observatory))
5/5 Medusa Nebula (March 17) - It is a picture of Abell 21, which is also known as the Medusa Nebula due to the serpentine filaments of gas in the cloud. According to NASA, the Medusa Nebula is an old planetary nebula located in the Gemini constellation about 1500 light-years away and spans nearly 4 light-years across. (NASA/Martin Bradley (Chesterfield Astronomical Society))
View all Images
Two asteroids named 2016 WH and 2023 FO are approaching Earth today, NASA informs. (Pixabay)

Do dinosaurs fascinate you? Do you know how they got extinct? Well, it is believed that a gigantic asteroid's collision with planet Earth was the reason behind the same. Imagine what will happen, if anything similar happens now? NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) tracks the movement and trajectory of the asteroids and informs about their speed, distance and more. Notably, our planet is surrounded by a huge number of near-Earth objects (NEO) in space that pose a threat to the entire planet. And asteroids, one of the NEOs, depending on its size and speed, can have tremendous destructive power.

As per the latest details provided by NASA's JPL, a huge house sized 44-foot asteroid named 2016 WH is rushing towards Earth today, Sunday, March 19. As far as the size of Asteroid 2016 WH is concerned, it ranges between 11 meters and 24 meters in diameter. The asteroid is not that massive and is not posing any kind of threat to planet Earth, as it will simply pass by it, if it keeps on travelling in the trajectory it is currently in.

According to JPL, the asteroid will make its closest approach to Earth at a distance of 6.93 million kilometers. The asteroid is also moving at an astonishing speed of 42372 kilometer per hour.

Notably, not all the asteroids pose a threat to the planet, but it is important for us to track them in order to find the ones that can be a threat to Earth. In order to keep an eye on the asteroids and track their movement, NASA has deployed several Earth and Sky-based technologies like telescopes, satellites, and more.

Along with the 44-foot asteroid, another small asteroid of 15 foot named 2023 FO is also approaching Earth Today. It is zooming towards the planet at a speed of 22428 kilometers per hour and will be nearing Earth at a distance of 346000 kilometers, according to NASA's JPL.

Follow HT Tech for the latest tech news and reviews , also keep up with us on Twitter, Facebook, Google News, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

First Published Date: 19 Mar, 10:56 IST
keep up with tech