Dangerous asteroid hurtling towards Earth today, Sept 16; will it miss?

A massive asteroid is hurtling towards Earth and is expected to make a close approach with the planet today. Will it hit or miss Earth? Here’s what NASA said.

| Updated on: Sep 16 2022, 10:46 IST
In Pics: 120-foot asteroid today is hurtling towards Earth, alert issued; check tech behind the tracking
1/5 NASA has warned that a massive asteroid is headed towards Earth. The asteroid is large enough to end all life and cause total annihilation on the planet if it makes a surface impact on Earth. Although it is safe to say that people on Earth will remain unharmed as it is expected to pass by Earth at a safe distance. (Pixabay)
2/5 The asteroid is speeding towards Earth at a mind-boggling 39024 kilometers per hour. Significantly, for humanity, Asteroid 2020 PT4 will just about miss Earth today, September 15 as it will fly away from a distance of about 7.1 million kilometers. The asteroid is nearly the size of a commercial aircraft with a width of nearly 120 feet. (Pixabay)
3/5 This asteroid does not pose any viable threat to Earth and will pass the planet safely though it was still classified as a potentially hazardous asteroid due to the close proximity of its encounter with Earth. (Pixabay)
4/5 Asteroid 2020 PT4 is part of the Apollo group of asteroids. According to the-sky.org, this asteroid takes almost 734 days to complete one orbit of the Sun, during which its farthest distance from the Sun is 355 million kilometers and nearest distance is 122 million kilometers. (Pixabay)
5/5 The Tech Behind Tracking Asteroids: Most of the asteroids are observed with the help of the NEOWISE Project which repurposed NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. It is a space telescope repurposed to work as a survey telescope and scan the sky for Near-Earth Objects using infrared wavelengths. (Pixabay)
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Scared of the asteroid that is heading for Earth today? Check out what NASA has to say. (Pixabay)

Continuing this month's trend of frequent close approaches by asteroids, NASA has warned that another asteroid is hurtling towards Earth. Asteroids are Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) which are often found orbiting the Sun in the main asteroid belt near Jupiter. Usually, asteroids are the most common NEOs which come near the Earth's orbit. Most of them burn up and disintegrate before reaching the planet but some can still pass through. Know more about the asteroid which is expected to make a close approach with Earth today, September 16.

Asteroid 2022 QD1 hurtling towards Earth

NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office is responsible for monitoring the skies and keeping a watch on various Near-Earth Objects (NEOs). The Asteroid 2022 QD1 has been red flagged by NASA. Although the asteroid is not heading for impact with Earth, it was still classified as a Potentially Hazardous Object due to the close proximity with which it will pass by Earth.

Current trajectory of Asteroid 2022 QD1
Current trajectory of Asteroid 2022 QD1 (NASA)
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Current trajectory of Asteroid 2022 QD1 (NASA)

Asteroid 2022 QD1 will make its closest approach to Earth today, September 16, at a distance of 7.4 million kilometers. Asteroid 2022 QD1 is already on its way towards Earth travelling at a staggering speed of 34200 kilometers per hour.

NASA reschedules Artemis I launch

After a couple of technical snags which prevented previous launches, it seems like NASA is finally ready to launch its Artemis I mission to the Moon in the coming weeks. The space agency previously attempted to launch the Orion spacecraft with the help of its new Space Launch System on August 29 and then on September 2 but suffered multiple setbacks on both occasions. NASA has planned another launch window for its first mission to the moon in decades.

NASA recently tweeted, “Our #Artemis I flight test around the Moon will launch no earlier than Sept. 27, with a backup opportunity of Oct. 2 under review.” This means that the space agency has finally fixed the issues which plagued the previous launch attempts. In a recent blog, NASA has revealed that the agency will attempt a demonstration test on September 21 before the planned launch on September 27. NASA has scheduled October 2 as the backup date for the launch.

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First Published Date: 16 Sep, 10:46 IST
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